As announced in the previous blog, Public procurement regulation and specifications: EU (part I), we aim to give you some insight into how different regions deal with public procurement. This week we discuss public procurement in the US.
Public procurement in both US and the EU is carried out at two levels – federal and state level (US), and the union and member state level (EU), respectively. If you read the previous blog, you will know that the EU member states have to conform to the basic rules of EU law; however, in the US, state level procurement procedures are independent of those at federal level, although similarities in the procedures do exist.
Streamlining the policies and regulations concerning public procurement is the responsibility of The Office of Federal Procurement Policy. The main regulating rules pertaining to federal procurement in THE US are outlined in The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As governed by FAR, the two essential components of the procurement decisions should be cost savings and competitive processes.
The overriding principles of the legislation listed are set out at FAR 1.102, and include:
- Delivering the best quality products or services on a timely basis while maintaining the public trust and fulfilling policy objectives.
- Maximising the use of commercial products and services.
- Using contractors who have a demonstrated record of superior past performance.
- Promoting competition.
- Conducting procurement with business integrity, fairness, and openness.
- Fulfilling public policy objectives (such as promoting small business and maximising use of products from the US and from qualifying countries with which the US has open trade agreements).
- Exercising sound business judgment.
Interestingly enough, not every federal agency needs to conform to rules outlined by the FAR, like the US Postal Service for example. These agencies operate under their own rules, which are quite similar to those of the FAR nonetheless.
Of course, FAR is not the only regulation for public procurement. Many other laws apply, one of which is the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.
Much like in the EU, certain thresholds are set up in order to ease the process of procurement. For instance, contracts with a value lower than $150,000 follow much simpler regulation and they bring the focus to small businesses.
The Federal Business Opportunities website lists active opportunities in the US. Likewise, you can find opportunities on the Tenderio platform, and with the help of our team secure yourselves new contracts and at the same time save yourself valuable time.
Click here to get in touch with the Tenderio team and find out how we can help your business grow and stay ahead of the tendering game.
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