Improving Federal Procurement: The Benefits of Vendor-Neutral Contract Specifications
R. Preston McAfee
Yahoo! Research Labs
Government procurements that specify brand names can unnecessarily increase the price of purchases. In 2004, approximately 69 percent of the applicable solicitations for computer systems and technology contained language that either required specific name brand microprocessors, usually Intel, or specified that the processor should be equivalent to a particular brand microprocessor. Such exclusionary language could cost hundreds of millions of dollars unnecessarily. For some products, the variety and complexity of items compel contracting agents to use brand names rather than to detail specific technical requirements and product characteristics. In the case of microprocessors, third-party benchmarks represent a solution to such a procurement specification issue.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
JEL Classification: H57working papers series
Date posted: February 26, 2006
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