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Government Procurement Fun Facts

Updated on May 27, 2011

Fun Facts about Government Procurement

  • Office supply company Staples publishes an 8000 item catalog directed at US government procurement agents. The catalog is available online and in printed form. Staples estimates that nearly 2 million printed catalogs are distributed each year.
  • In late 2008, Chicago Public School officials purchased 30 cappuccino machines for a culinary arts program. Although the total cost was $67,000, procurement agents were accused of structuring the payments such that no invoice exceeded $10,000. This strategy allowed competitive bidding regulations and school board approval to be bypassed. Investigators observed that the same machines were available online for about 20% less.
  • General Motors provides an online shopping program for government vehicles. At, potential customers can browse a virtual vehicle showroom, compare warranties, and check out alternative fuel vehicles.
  • The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) represents 94 PTACs (Procurement Technical Assistance Centers) that provide assistance to businesses competing for government contracts.
  • The State of Ohio procures people. This recent listing from declared the requirements for a 2-year position in the Ohio Department of Public Safety:

The State of Ohio procures people.
The State of Ohio procures people.
  • Government consumption declined steadily in comparison to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). From 1954 to 2000, good and services purchased by the US government declined from 28% to less than 10% of GDP. Refer to the graph below.

Government Consumption vs GDP

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francicso:
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francicso:

Fiscal Year 2008 U.S. Government Energy Consumption by Agency (top 5 agencies)

Energy Consumption (in trillions of BTUs)
Postal Service
Veteran's Affairs
Fiscal Year 2008 Source:


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @cjv123: Thanks! It was fun to write.

    • cjv123 profile image

      Carol 8 years ago from Michigan

      Interesting stats here! What I'm not surprised about one bit is the over-priced cappuccino machines! Keep Hubbing!!!