The U.S. Trade and Development Agency and George Washington University signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a partnership to develop the Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value.
The Initiative is designed to share best practices in procurement with officials from emerging economies to "foster fair and transparent procurement systems that use best-value determination and life-cycle cost analysis."
Training activities will be tailored to decision makers responsible for procurement in high-technology infrastructure sectors such as energy, transportation and telecommunications.
“Procurement policies in emerging markets often limit competition by relying upon low-cost as the determining factor for award, failing to consider the benefits that can be gained from high-quality products and services that include warranties, maintenance agreements and reliable customer service,” USTDA said.
"Low-cost procurement methods limit the opportunities for U.S. companies to compete in emerging markets," said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak in a statement. "Procurement systems that utilize a 'best-value' determination will help to level the playing field for high-quality, high-value goods and services provided by U.S. companies.
“A predominant focus on low-cost procurement methods often leads countries to acquire goods and services that fail to meet their long-term objectives over the life of the investment. A more sophisticated analysis of the total cost of ownership can lead to smarter, longer-term investments with overall savings to our partners overseas," she added.
“Drawing on the knowledge and experience of GW Law School's Government Procurement Law Program, the Global Procurement Initiative will be a resource for countries with emerging economies, providing information and resources to help them make optimal use of spending on public contracts to obtain the best value for their citizens,” said Law School Interim Dean Gregory E. Maggs.
The initiative will seek opportunities wherever possible for collaboration with the major development banks, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, African Development Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.