advertising information

CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 ASIANOW
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
   computing
   personal technology
   space
 NATURE
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 HEALTH
 STYLE
 IN-DEPTH

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 TIME INC. SITES:
 MORE SERVICES:
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines
 pointcast
 pagenet

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

 SITE GUIDES:
 help
 contents
 search

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 WEB SERVICES:
COMPUTING

Online auctions hit the public sector

March 9, 1999
Web posted at: 11:42 a.m. EST (1642 GMT)

by Jennifer Jones

From...
Civic.com
auction
INTERACTIVE:

Have you purchased any items through an online auction during the past year?

Yes No
View Results

(IDG) -- It was just a matter of time before an Internet-savvy state or local government became bold enough to get in on the cyberauction frenzy. After all, millions of Americans each day click on popular Web sites to buy everything from Beanie Babies to baseballs slugged by the likes of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

Pennsylvania stepped up to the plate this winter, locking in an agreement with FreeMarkets OnLine. The deal provides for a series of online auctions that the state's Department of General Services will use to buy simple commodities such as fuel and office furniture. By the time baseball's spring-training season rolls around, Pennsylvania and several of its vendors will have traded online to the tune of about $20 million.

Said Glenn Meakem, FreeMarkets' chief executive officer and co-founder, "You would have expected a state like California to do this since California is very progressive."

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  Civic.com home page
  Get a free subscription to Civic.com's print edition
 Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  IDG.net's personal news page
  IDG.net's products pages
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletters
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
 News Radio
 * Fusion audio primers
 * Computerworld Minute
   

It turns out that Pennsylvania's deal with Pittsburgh-based FreeMarkets is progressive for two reasons.

First, it's central to the state's economic development strategy. The announcement of the agreement was timed to coincide with some political posturing: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is signaling that he will deliver a plan to put the state ahead in the race to build an electronic-commerce infrastructure.

And second, and perhaps more importantly, the use of online auctions puts Pennsylvania at the forefront of modernizing government purchasing.

It's also a sign of the times, another signal that government procurement is swiftly becoming more market-driven.

But Pennsylvania is not the only state breaking free of confining procurement practices while still upholding fair and open contracting practices. That quest to break free is the driving force behind the Massachusetts-led electronic shopping mall, or E-Mall, another experiment that is pushing the procurement envelope.

Given the current climate, we're predicting that progressive government buying strategies will continue to open up on other fronts in the coming months.

It's easy to see where this is heading. If a person can buy a $3 million baseball with the click of a mouse, why couldn't state officials bargain for computers in an online auction?

Jennifer Jones is news editor for Civic.com



RELATED STORIES:
Home run history going on sale online
January 8, 1999
Online shopping goes mainstream
December 3, 1998
Online auction services thrive
June 22, 1998
Confessions of an online auction addict
May 19, 1998
Sold! Auctions move to the Internet
August 25, 1997

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Going, going, gone
(Civic.com)
Attention shoppers, get ready for Massachusetts' E-Mall
(Civic.com)
OpenSite offers affordable auctioning
(InfoWorld Electric)
AOL reportedly eyes stake in eBay
(InfoWorld Electric)
eBay sets sights on extra security
(The Industry Standard)
So many online auctions, so little time
(Network World Fusion)

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


RELATED SITES:
FreeMarkets OnLine Inc.
eBay
Gov. Ridge calls on General Assembly
to make Pennsylvania a national leader in e-commerce

(State of Pennsylvania press release)

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.