Electronic reverse auctions in the federal government
Brown, Whitney E.
Ray, Lana D.
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In light of the limited recognition of electronic reverse auctions (e-RA) in the acquisition field, the purpose of this research paper is to further examine the use of e-RAs throughout the federal government and the Department of Defense (DoD). By exploring a multitude of auction types and designs that have been or are currently being used in the private sector, these practices set a basis for researching the auction types being used in the public sector. This paper further explores the regulations guiding the use of e-RAs and investigates the federal government's application of reverse auctions through studies, reports, and interviews with users of e-RAs. Details as to what attributes are prevalent in these e-RAs, what features are best suited for e-RAs, and what benefits have been derived from the use of e-RAs in the federal government are also included. Finally, the researchers found that e-RAs have increased transparency, cost savings, and efficiencies in the acquisition process. Although reverse auctions are being used effectively, the researchers found that there are still opportunities for improvement including incorporating a fully functional best-value tool into e-RA technology and developing more thorough federal guidance on e-RAs as an alternative pricing method.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-07-124
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