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S ec t i on 3 : Compar i son to Pr i vat e S ec tor Prac t i ce s
Transportation Management in the Federal Government
| Best Practices Report: 2012
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D I S PU T E RE SO L U T I ON
The outlook for the government sector isn’t all negative when compared
to private industry, especially in terms of dispute resolution.
In fact the government sector could conceivably surpass private industry
in dispute resolution capabilities, if it introduces an automated platform
into its contracts to bridge this gap. The government here has enough
sway that most, if not all, of its major transport partners would get on
board with such a system if it were a requirement in their contracts.
Among agencies, carriers, and analysts following this industry there’s a
concern that dispute resolution is driving a deep wedge between
agencies and their partners, alienating carriers from government work.
Despite expressing these fears, on the whole federal agencies said they
often try to make payments quickly and communicate as much infor-
mation as possible when disputes arise. Tying this to the pre-audit
mandate from the federal government means many mistakes are caught
early on and resolved before the work is finished.
Carriers that responded to this survey noted that federal government
work did have some hiccups in dispute resolution, but always character-
ized agencies as willing to pay what was owed and work to resolve
discrepancies.
Both on the agency and carrier side of the issue, those with the closest
relationships and best rapport with specific members across the aisle
have the confidence to overcome issues that arise and do not feel issues
like Prompt Payment interest cause enough headaches to affect business.
AUD I T I NG : MANDAT E V S . BE S T PRAC T I CE
On the surface, auditing practices appear ubiquitous for both the
government agencies and private sector, but this is actually an area in
which the government could really shine. Federal agencies must audit
their non-parcel freight invoices prior to payment—this is not optional.
However, in the private sector, audits are a best practice, not a mandate.
Private industry often needs to be reminded to perform audits on every
transaction. Federal agencies may already have a leg up, if they are doing
what’s required of them. Agencies also have easy-to-use options for
audit outsourcing, including turning to other government agencies like
the GSA.