After one brief mention of no-bid contracts in an earlier debate, I’ve been curious as to how John McCain and Barack Obama will improve the purchasing practices of the Federal Government.

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I’ve linked around through their Web sites and have done some Google searches to see what I could find. There is so much information on their sites, I admit that my research is not comprehensive. Their sites are the proverbial haystacks and by no means am I suggesting that I have found all of the needles.

Information about government purchasing improvements was easier to find on one candidate’s site than the others. That doesn’t mean that his plan is better, just that the information was easier to find.

I by no means am attempting to influence anyone’s vote – I encourage everyone to make up their own minds after considering all of the issues. I’m not 100% sure who I am voting for yet and government purchasing improvement is not the biggest issue I am considering.

If you know of other government purchasing material on either of the candidates’ sites, please include it in the comments section of this blog. I’d love if all of the issues could be documented here, not limited by my personal (in)ability to find it.

Having gotten those disclaimers out the of the way, here is what I found:

From under Issues > Economic Plan > Cheap and Clean Energy: “Government Purchasing: John McCain will make greening the federal government a priority of his administration. The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased and retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.”

From under Issues > Blueprint for Change, page 17: “Make Government More Effective: Obama and Biden will work to make government more efficient from top to bottom. They will cut wasteful and ineffective programs, create more professional oversight of contracts and programs and slash earmarks.” and “Wasteful Spending is Out of Control: The current administration has abused its power by handing out contracts without competition to its politically connected friends and supporters. These abuses cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year.”

From under Issues > Blueprint for Change, page 18: “Create a Public ‘Contracts and Influence’ Database: As president, Obama will create a ‘contracts and influence’ database that will disclose how much federal contractors spend on lobbying, and what contracts they are getting and how well they complete them.”

From under Issues > Blueprint for Change, page 20: “Reform Federal Contracting: Obama and Biden will reform federal contracting and reduce the number of contractors, saving $40 billion a year. They will crack down on no-bid contracts and hire more contract managers and improve training to enable federal agencies to avoid wasteful contracts. Obama and Biden will prohibit contractors who are delinquent on their federal taxes from getting contracts for government work.”

From under Issues > Blueprint for Change, page 42: “Make Government Spending More Accountable and Efficient: Obama and Biden will ensure that federal contracts over $25,000 are competitively bid. Obama and Biden will also increase the efficiency of government programs through better use of technology, stronger management that demands accountability and by leveraging the governments high-volume purchasing power to get lower prices.”

One additional noteworthy item – In recent times, John McCain challenged a US Air Force tanker contract that apparently was awarded to Boeing without competition. McCain’s challenge against what many considered “corrupt government procurement” resulted in the award given to a competing group, a savings of over $6 billion, and guilty pleas from both the government and contractor sides.

Make of it all what you will…

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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