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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 31, 2012

Presidency, the Power of the Purchaser and Public Policy

  • Daniel P. Gitterman
From the journal The Forum


As the CEO of a large federal bureaucracy, the president has the authority to dictate the contractual terms on which the government will do business with the private sector. By way of delegated statutory authority, executive order, and agency procurement rules, the president can call the shots. Anyone wishing to do business with the federal government must meet the president's terms and conditions. Presidents use this “power of the purchaser” to exercise political control over procurement and to influence public policy in areas unrelated to the federal government’s “efficient” purchase of goods and services. Procurement—and the power of the purchaser—must be viewed as a powerful weapon of coercion and redistribution in the president's policymaking arsenal.

Published Online: 2012-7-31

©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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