Government Shutdown Exacerbates Procurement’s Troubles

This post was originally published on Public Spend Forum.

With the government shutting its doors for the first time since 1995, it will only be a matter of days before the effects are felt beyond government agencies, rippling throughout the supply chain and the economy.

Shutdowns are rare events, unplanned-for calamities that cause significant disruption to programs and government operations. As of late, whether it is a shutdown or a continuing resolution—where only a few months are funded at a time—or a sequester, the federal government has been operating in a perpetual state of uncertainty. That uncertainty has real costs not just for government but also for suppliers.

But just as procurement is often not considered in larger policy matters, the ramifications of a shutdown on the supply chain are also often ignored. There are many ways a shutdown exacerbates existing issues in public sector procurement, and there are lessons to be learned from each of these.

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