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Eagleton Institute of Politics - 60th Anniversary
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E-Gov: Best Practices


Most states have viewed electronic technology as an area where they can simplify and expedite their often cumbersome procurement practices. Some states also see Web-based and other electronic services as a more cost-effective means to solicit bids for products and services or as an additional revenue source, typically charging registered vendors using electronic procurement systems modest fees in attempts to make the services self-supporting. Future innovations may see a broadening of the traditional public bidding process to solicit unregistered vendors, thus creating an "e-bay" type auction for the most common products and services.

California CAL-Buy
Recipient of a 2001 Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Information Technology Award from the National Association of Chief Information Officers, California's online procurement system CAL-Buy  is maintained by the California Department of General Services Procurement Division, which oversees about $2 billion in annual purchases by California state agencies. CAL-Buy automates the contracts for purchases from approved suppliers by linking government buyers to a central search engine where agencies can search for the products and add them to their "shopping cart" with a simple click. Once the buyer has completed an order, internal approvers receive an e-mail alerting them of their needed approval. When the order is ready to go to the vendor, CAL-Buy transmits it electronically by either e-mail or fax.  Phase 1 of CAL-Buy went live March 7, 2001, automating 180 existing commodity contracts covering over 3,300 items.

eMaryland Marketplace
According to its site, Maryland was the first state to develop a self-funded platform with both interactive bidding and catalog purchasing functions; the first state to move this multi-faceted platform into full production mode; and the first state to include local governments from its inception in its e-procurement vehicle.

eVA, Virginia's Web-based e-procurement system
"eVA", Virginia's Web-based procurement system developed with its consultant American Management Systems Inc, is used by all 167 state agencies and some 4,000 registered vendors, displaying nearly 440 catalogs with 1.7 million products and services. Vendors pay a $25 registration fee for basic service or a $200 one for premium services. The state recently launched a simpler version of the site, called "eVA Lite" for municipalities and educational institutions, with 40 local governments, 12  community colleges and three large state universities as registered users.

Bid Ohio
Ohio Treasury provides online bidding for short-term investment of state cash through Bid Ohio, a monthly competitive 'live' auction for $42.5 million in interim funds conducted on a secure website developed exclusively for the Treasurer’s office, with the funds invested in CDs offered at the highest interest rates by competing banks.