Is the performance of the procurement system improving?

I have been working over the past few days on a keynote speech I will give on June 12 at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, in connection with the twentieth anniversary of their procurement law and policy program’s conferences on Public Procurement: Global Revolution. For this twentieth anniversary, I have been asked to reflect on the big picture of changes in the system over the past two decades.

As I worked on my remarks, I was initially filled with optimistic thoughts. Since the burst of procurement reform in the 1990s (full disclosure: I was a leader of this effort while in government), there has, in my view, been a major improvement in the culture of the U.S. federal procurement system in a more performance-oriented direction.

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