According to CivSource, the Governator recently signed a new budget that included several reforms for California's Information Technology procurement process. I will not rewrite the entire article here, because it is definitely worth the read, but in summary they point out that the existing procurement process is so cumbersome that it is not uncommon for a RFP process to last over 400 days. The reform hopes that "RFP boot camps" will help the sourcing process be reduced to a 10-24 month period, which is still terrible, but at least a start.

The article explains that the "sprawling and extremely detailed RFPs made it hard on both sides of the procurement process". As most of you know, this is not uncommon in government procurement. Even "simple" contracts for non-IT contracts can go on for months (or years) on end. I recently reviewed (and declined to respond) to a 72 page federal RFP for sourcing services. Aside from the actual human resource costs (on both buyer and supplier side of the table), these overly complicated RFPs present a lost opportunity in savings and efficiency gains in the sheer amount of time that is wasted in the selection and qualification process that could have been used in the implementation and sustainment process.

It would be nice if California circles back around again in a couple of years after this legislation is approved and provides some statistics showing that it actually had a positive impact. Maybe the federal government can learn something from the proposed "RFP boot camps".

Though doubtful, I hope that this means Coupa's recent announcement of a 6-month trial for governments might have gained the tiniest chance now of gaining some interest from the sector.
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William Dorn

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