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Department of Veterans Affairs

Government Trading Post On-Line

I suggest you...Many federal facilities have changing needs for equipment, furniture, medical supplies etc. Currently in many cases when buildings are renovated or remodeled there is a great deal of waste. Equipment and furniture which that particular department or hospital no longer has a need for is discarded and replaced with all new equipment and furniture. The waste is two-fold as not only is money spent on purchasing new equipment/furniture; but all this discarded equipment or furniture ends up in a landfill, so taxpayers’ money is used to dispose of it. The federal government could initiate an on-line trading post; so that items no longer needed by one facility or work department, could be made available to other departments and federal facilities. High cost items could be auctioned off, similar to the E-Bay Auction Site. The government agency auctioning off the item would be able to utilize the funds for something else the agency needed instead; and the purchasing agency would be obtaining an item it needs at a significantly reduced cost. Consider the following scenario to exemplify the high cost items which could be involved, and reused rather than discarded. A new surgical Unit is opened at a government hospital. A year later however, due to reorganization the surgical unit is closed, and the patients needing the surgery are instead referred to a neighboring hospital. The special equipment needed to run a surgical unit is very expensive. For example an autoclave to sterilize operating equipment can run from $2000.00 to $4000.00 dollars. This would be just one of many of the items needed to run an operating room that may no longer be utilized if the unit was closed. As the hospital no longer needs the equipment or furniture many of these expensive items end up in the landfill. If the item isn’t auctioned off, it should be donated to a local organization in need, such as a homeless shelter, school, etc. Gently used furniture and equipment would be welcomed by organizations struggling to stay afloat because of limited funds.

To discourage unnecessary purchases; all federal organizations should be required to check for the furniture/equipment on the government on line listing; before purchasing new items. If the item(s) is available from another facility it should be obtained from this other government facility, rather than being purchased new. Cargo trains can be utilized for transporting large size items and UPS for small items; or another economical form of transport to cut down on costs. This suggestion could save money as well as help the environment, by reducing the tonnage of material going

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Idea No. 17637