Thursday, July 03, 2008

How Do They Do It? ... Volume! Volume! Volume!

State, local, and tribal governments will soon be able to leverage the federal government's buying power to purchase homeland-security related items:

The U.S. General Services Administration received new authority to help state and local governments in purchasing homeland security equipment and services under the Local Preparedness Acquisitions Act (HB 3179) signed by President Bush last week. The new law authorizes the GSA Administrator to allow state, local, and tribal governments to buy homeland security goods and services through the cooperative purchasing program. Officials will be able to use GSA's Schedule 84 to buy items such as alarm systems, facility management systems, firefighting and rescue equipment, law enforcement and security equipment, and marine craft.

Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Jim Williams said, "GSA's ability to leverage the federal government's enormous buying power enables us to provide goods and services at best value and pass the savings on to our client agencies. Now we can pass these discounts on to state and local governments ...
Using your organization's buying power to get discounts is, of course, a no-brainer.

At the same time, state, local and tribal governments have to maintain strategic discipline and avoid slipping into the tempting but faulty line of thinking that homeland security means the opportunity to buy more stuff (!)

Material purchases should always support the state and local homeland security strategy. If they don't, the money is probably better spent elsewhere, even if the new stuff looks great and provides local politicians with some really nice publicity shots.

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