Virginia's e-procurement system reaches $1 billion milestone

Virginia's e-procurement system has passed $1 billion in sales and 155,000 orders in the two years since the eVA system launched, Gov. Mark Warner's office announced this month.

The system is a partnership between the state and American Management Systems Inc., Fairfax, Va.

State agencies use the system to purchase products and services ranging from fuel and vehicles to maintenance services and office supplies. The state plans to add construction and other services, such as telecommunications, later this year, the governor's office said.

The 4 million products currently posted on the system by 13,000 vendors are available to 400 government agencies, Warner's office said.

The eVA system is likely to continue to expand as more entities embrace it as a way to foster more effective negotiations with a broader spectrum of vendors, said Sandra Bowen, Virginia's secretary of administration.

The system stimulates competition by enabling purchasing agents who shop online to compare prices and offers. It also reduces the administrative costs associated with doing business, according to the governor's office. Ultimately, eVA is expected to reduce processing costs associated with state procurement from about 5.5 percent, which is typical for government, to 2 percent.

The project did not require any upfront money from Virginia, because the partners used a reverse funding model to finance the system. The partners charge vendors registration and transaction fees to recover development costs.

The eVA system has not has not only helped the state leverage its buying power but provided the state with key data about its purchasing patterns, said George Newstrom, Virginia's Secretary of Technology.

"Capturing [data on] what we buy, where we buy, when we buy it and for how much we buy it is, for us, as important as getting the best discount and leveraging our buying power," he said.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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