Procurement Resources

Optimizing Public Agency Purchasing Power: WWEMA, together with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, has published this joint document to identify procurement methods that can be used on public water and wastewater projects to achieve maximum return on investment.

Bidding Procedures and Equipment Procurement: This 31-page report represents the proceedings of a WWEMA-led session at WEFTEC 2011 (the conference of the Water Environment Federation). It includes comparisons of various methods of procurement, sample bid forms, and a chart with the results of an extensive survey of the 50 states regarding which procurement options and project delivery methods they allow under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. (Accessible for WWEMA members only.)

Municipal Procurement: Procurement Process Improvements Yield Cost-Effective Public Benefits: Published in March 2013 by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, this 24-page document reflects on how existing procurement practices can lead to what it calls "habituation," which it says "can pose a real financial danger because as manufacturing technology and materials science advance, the procurement official may be making spending decisions today based on information from yesterday, last year or the last century for that matter."

Reforming Our Nation's Approach to the Infrastructure Crisis: How Competition, Oversight, and Innovation Can Lower Water and Sewer Rates in the U.S.: Published in April 2013 by the National Taxpayers Union, this 28-page report calls for procurement reform and improved financial management practices.

Fixing America's Crumbling Underground Water Infrastructure: Competitive Bidding Offers a Way Out: Published in April 2012 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, this 18-page report discusses how "Opening up the bidding process under the principle of 'may the best technology win' will immeasurably improve the quality of America's underground water infrastructure in a cost-effective fashion."

Life Cycle Costing in Sustainable Public Procurement: A Question of Value: This white paper from the International Institute for Sustainable Development examines the benefits of conducting life cycle costing analyses when making procurement decisions.

Field Scan on Innovation in Procurement Provided to the City of Philadelphia This 2014 document gathers information about current best practices and emerging ideas on procurement and government innovation; it notes: "Many public sector agencies have moved toward 'best value' purchasing which allows factors such as total cost of ownership, vendor past performance, and quality to be considered in addition to price. When considering only price, an agency leaves itself open to lowball bids that require significant scope changes and budget increases, or that present quality and timeliness problems."

Sample Procurement Policies: A number of municipalities have recognized the value of considering the "total cost of ownership" and have integrated it into their procurement policy: