Buying Green: The U.S. Government Steps Up Environmentally Prefereable Purchasing

By Alec D. Rogers
July 03, 2008
With an annual contract budget of over $400 billion, the U.S. government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world. Approximately $62 billion in that outlay is spent on information technology equipment and related services. Unlike commercial entities, however, the government’s purchasing power is frequently leveraged for purposes other than trying to obtain the item sought at the lowest price. Such purposes include promoting small women-owned and minority-owned businesses, those that are owned by or employ the blind and/or handicapped, and other groups that are considered to be disadvantaged. Similarly, it is often used to punish those who commit other off enses, barring them from the political marketplace for certain legal off enses. In a few cases, it is used to punish otherwise lawful behavior....