Reverse Auctions: A Bid for Budget-Conscious Business

December 15, 2011

Sometimes a good idea gets even better with the passage of time.

Ten years ago, shaving nearly 15 percent off the cost of a procurement by using a novel approach to the bidding process was a good idea. A decade later, as agencies across the government are seeing programs cut and discretionary funding dry up, it seems like a great idea.

In 2002, Cathy Read, director of acquisitions management at the State Department, gathered her most forward-thinking contracting specialists — the ones who “were always looking for a better way to save money and do it faster” — and asked them to try a new approach to buying commercial IT products.

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