Masters Thesis

eFed : a policy analysis on federal acquisition policy in online reverse auctions

The expansion of the Internet and change in Government acquisition policy gave rise to the use of online reverse auctions in the federal acquisition system. The purpose was to increase flexibility and implement new sourcing and acquisition strategies that could streamline the acquisition system that was previously riddled with red tape. This system had discouraged many companies from dealing with the Federal Government due to the difficulty of dealing with the government. Online reverse auctions have many benefits for Federal acquisition that can greatly increase its efficiency and create more effective sourcing strategies. However, the FAR does not properly regulate the use of online reverse auctions by federal agencies and it has recently been found that these agencies are not maximizing the potential benefits of reverse auctions (GAO, 2013). Furthermore, these agencies are not required to collect award information and are currently not collecting this information, which has limited the transparency of commercial item acquisition from the public. The FAR also does not effectively regulate the conduct of privately managed reverse auction platforms that are currently in use by the Federal Government. This poses a risk to the general public, whereby it is unclear as to the level of influence and control these private companies that manage the reverse auction platform in use by the Federal Government have over the process. Ultimately, inadequate oversight and regulations have threatened the efficiency, ethics and transparency of federal acquisition through online reverse auction platforms.

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