Department of Defense

Define “best value” to include the costs of both procurement and disposal

Federal agencies buy more than $500 billion in goods and services annually, but there is no direct link to the cost of disposal. This limits the ability to identify and seize lifecycle cost efficiencies.

 

For example, it's cheaper to buy a chipboard desk than a metal desk, but a broken chipboard desk costs taxpayer money to put in a landfill, while a broken metal desk has cash value as a recyclable material.

 

For any procurement action over $2,500, require the bidder/supplier to state how they would propose to collect the item(s) at the end of their useful lives for disposal or recycling, and how much they would charge to do this. Don't require recycling; just ask what they would do with their own product if we made them take it back, and what that would cost.

 

Enable the government to consider this lifecycle cost information in its determination of best value, and to exercise the option at the convenience of the government.

 

Even if the government seldom elects to exercise the option, it has still incentivized industry toward lifecycle design, thereby creating green jobs and spurring market innovation.

 

If avoided disposal costs equaled merely 1% of total procurement, the annual government-wide savings would be $5 billion.

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Idea No. 16192