With so many rules aimed at rooting out cronyism in government contracting, agencies are often so conservative in their communications with vendors that it impedes the dialogue required for a healthy procurement cycle.    State of Utah Director of Purchasing Christopher Hughes thinks agencies, and vendors can do better by being more open.   The Human Services IT Advisory Group (HSITAG) procurement committee interviewed him about his views on communicating with vendors to maintain a healthy and competitive purchasing program for his state.

Members of the HSITAG procurement committee are dedicated to working in partnership with state HHS customers to successfully identify opportunities for enhancements in the procurement process to optimize project outcomes. With that as a backdrop, the procurement committee is engaging with HHS leaders throughout this year to spotlight their thoughts and perspectives around a number of procurement topics that often create challenges for the states or vendors.  Christopher is leading the series with his perspective on communication.

We hope you will continue to tune in as we collect the thoughts and perspectives from other state leaders on additional topics such as procurement methodology, requirements, and evaluations –to highlight a few.

Two takeaways from this interview include:

  • Sometimes agencies are risk-averse and do not want to appear to give a specific vendor an advantage over another. It is better to be open and make sure all vendors can see both the questions and answers.  This strategy will lead to better awareness of technologies and outcomes for the government agencies.
  • Although they are sometimes reluctant for competitive reasons, vendors that participate in question-and-answer sessions help facilitate healthy dialogue and add value to the government agency they are aiming to serve.

Watch the interview below: