Environmental Protection Agency

Creating More Cost-Effective Procurements

Since much of the waste of taxpayer money in procurement involves inadequately defined requirements and poorly-written Statements of Work (SOWs), and the inability to define requirements sufficiently in order to be able to use low-priced, technically acceptable fixed-price contracts, any assistance in helping especially less-experienced Program and Contracting personnel to write better Statements of Work and Contracts is likely to result in significant cost savings to taxpayers by avoiding change orders, errors, and incomplete contracts, as well as creating more fixed-price contracts competed by price. This would be especially true if those contracts and/or SOWs were primarily not performance-based, with often meaningless ratings, but true perfomance requirements, where the contractor would not get paid until he delivered a satisfactory product that was defined by a specific, measurable end point or deliverable. Even services can be defined by an end report or reports if the contractor has to achieve a specific result--such as cleaning up the contamination in the groundwater down to so many parts per million of certain chemicals, measured in specified ways. Such a result could be encouraged by the creation of a Procurement Sharing website, accessible only to Government employees, that anyone would be encouraged to post to--not just the "chosen few" whose work was chosen by management because it reflects the standard "old-line" way of doing things. What would be even better, would be places for comments along with the SOWs and contracts, to let others know the stage of procurement for posted documents (minus contractor and proprietary information), so people could know whether it resulted in a successful contract, and what problems and challenges were encountered, and what the poster would recommend to do differently next time for an even better result. Such sharing of innovative ideas and "best practices" could result in significant cost savings.

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Idea No. 10056