What is the US ‘Better Contracting Initiative’?

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced the next phase of the Federal Government’s enterprise approach, the ‘Better Contracting Initiative’ (BCI)

The BCI is a four-pronged initiative with the aim to ensure the Federal Government is getting better terms and prices when purchasing goods and services.  The BCI also forms a strategy so the Government is deliberate about who they buy it from, including small and disadvantaged businesses.

Why are they launching the BCI?

In 2022, the Federal Government purchased $700 billion of goods and services.  While some Federal agencies have unique needs and purchase highly-customised items, such as fighter jets and space telescopes, most of the goods and services purchased by agencies are common commercial items that most agencies use – such as IT hardware and software, facilities maintenance, and package delivery services.

The administration believes that for many years Federal agencies have often paid inconsistent prices and often too much when compared to general market price.  To address the issue, initially the Obama-Biden Administration pushed the Federal Government to begin to take an enterprise approach to the common goods and services it buys, resulting in better deals that have avoided $90 billion in costs for taxpayers since FY 2016.

The Biden-Harris Administration is expecting the results of the BCI will generate more than an additional 10 billion annually in savings and cost avoidance while improving the overall performance of Federal contracts.

Four pronged BCI strategy 

  • Leveraging data across federal agencies to get lower prices and better terms
  • Negotiating common enterprise-wide software licences
  • Saving money and avoiding waste by getting contract requirements right the first time
  • Getting better value from sole source and other high-risk contracts


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