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Bonfire Gives Free Access to Thousands of Procurement Docs

The company's new portal gives public procurement officials the ability to search for requests for proposals and other similar documents for a wide range of purchases as they seek to conduct their own projects.

Bonfire, a software vendor that sells procurement technology to public agencies, has released a free portal allowing government workers to search thousands of requests for proposals — and other similar documents — from other agencies.

The portal, called Bonfire Open Access Community Projects, contains procurement documents for a wide range of purchases from more than 500 agencies across North America, according to a press release. The idea is to make it easier and faster for procurement officials to create the documents they need to move purchasing projects forward.

“Procurement teams can get requests for nearly anything, from pothole patching to software solutions to PPE,” said Bonfire CEO Omar Salaymeh in the statement. “When facing new or unfamiliar projects, it’s not uncommon for purchasing agents to spend a lot of time — sometimes hours — searching Google for templates. That is not an effective use of procurement teams’ time, and going into 2022, it’s going to be downright unsustainable. Our data found that public agencies ran 39 percent more projects in 2021 compared to 2020, and with the Biden administration’s newly approved Build Back Better infrastructure funding, we believe that number will skyrocket. We’re making Bonfire Open Access Community Projects free to all public procurement teams everywhere, making it easy to access resources from their peers and help reduce the time and effort spent drafting RFP documents.”

That’s important because public officials often rely on their peers to get an idea of how to proceed on purchases. COVID-19 has surfaced a more acute need as well; many agencies have had to quickly buy things they’ve never needed to buy before such as personal protective equipment.

“The biggest challenge we face in public procurement today is ensuring we can continue to build quality RFPs in less time, especially with the surge in project volume we’re experiencing. And that means getting the right information together for a new RFP from the start,” said Maija Lampinen, Procurement and Contracts Manager at the Port of Everett, Wash., in the statement. “With Community Projects, we’ve been able to easily search for similar projects run by other agencies, see how they structured their projects, and leverage supporting documentation to use as templates. It’s making a big impact on how we run our projects and the time it saves us during RFP creation.”

Bonfire is one of the constituent companies making up GTY Technology, a publicly traded firm that formed from the merger of several gov tech vendors in 2018.