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Gartner Tells Agencies to Expect More Vendors

Gartner tells governments that are receiving stimulus money to prepare for more competition.

A newly released Gartner report, Global Scenarios: The U.S. Government is the Next Emerging Market, highlights research from IHS Global Insight projecting a 2.4 percent growth rate for government spending in 2009. The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is expected to account for much of that growth.

"Growth in the total GDP of Brazil and Russia was actually less than the [expected] growth of the U.S. government in 2009," Jorge Lopez, an analyst for Gartner, told Government Technology this week. He is a co-author of the report.

Gartner predicts a dramatic uptick of government sales among IT vendors. That means state and local agencies should expect to receive more bids than usual, Lopez said. Many companies that have never bid on government contracts are moving toward the government market, he explained. Before those bids arrive, governments should evaluate whether or not their current processes for receiving bids can handle dramatic increases in volume, he recommended.

"They may have to introduce more automation," Lopez said. He predicts agencies will likely have time to install that automation before the bids come. Much of the stimulus money won't reach governments until 2010.

Lopez also recommends agency leaders review with employees the rules for interacting with vendors, in order to avoid scandals.

"There is wide concern that when you put this much money into the economy, the attractiveness of corruption increases," he said. Media's heightened sensitivity to waste makes this more critical, he said.


Andy Opsahl is a former staff writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.
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