Each year, the federal government purchases roughly $665 billion in goods and services from outside contractors, accounting for 10% of its total budget. Agencies buy everything from software and hardware to defense and security equipment, security systems, construction materials, professional services, travel, and office supplies. Given the magnitude of external money spent and workforce contracted, it is important that there be fairness, transparency, and equity in federal awards. However, government procurement is not easy to navigate, especially for businesses without experience in submitting bids or understanding agency requirements and processes.
On April 4, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted an expert panel discussion on how to improve national government procurement processes, especially for small businesses, moderated by Senior Fellow Darrell West.