Transforming the culture of procurement in state and local government: An interview with Jeffrey Liebman, Director, Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab – Interview #141 (Gov Innovator)

By Andy Feldman


“Many of the most important functions of state and local governments – from building and maintaining roads to housing the homeless – involve contracting for goods and services supplied by the private sector,” notes the Harvard Kennedy School’s Government Performance Lab in their primer, Results-Driven Contracting: An Overview. “Unfortunately, governments often treat procurement as a back office administrative function, rather than as a core part of their strategy for delivering better performance.”

As a result, increasing the effectiveness of procurements offers an enormous opportunity today for state and local governments to improve their overall performance. As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the Government Performance Lab has been working with a set of city governments to adopt results-driven contracting strategies and to transform the culture of procurement.

To learn more, we are joined by the Lab’s director, Jeffrey Liebman. He is a professor at the Kennedy School and is also the Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government. His recent article published on the website Route Fifty is, “Business as Usual Can Be the Riskiest Procurement Approach.”