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Monday, September 9, 2002

Atlantic County Holds First Online Auction

Atlantic County's Division of Budget and Purchasing recently held an online auction for rock salt, becoming the first governmental body in the state to participate in the online process. The county was rewarded for its initiative by realizing a savings of nearly $8 per ton from what is charged through the state's public contract system.

County Executive Dennis Levinson was pleased with the results and confirmed that the county will try it again. "It is the taxpayer that benefits here," he added.

The bids for rock salt were submitted through the Web site, operated by a company with a three-year state contract to perform the online bidding process for specific commodities. The bids were posted in a reverse auction process by pre-approved vendors. Vendors could see the bids but the identities of their competitors remained anonymous. The process lasted about one hour.

According to President Al Poreda, other government bodies in the state were hesitant to sign on to the program. "No one wanted to be number one," he said. "Atlantic County rolled the dice first, and it worked. I really have to take my hat off to them. They were the ones willing to take the first step."

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