It would be more efficient if the centers for infrastructure development within USDOT and the Environmental Protection Agency were combined into a national center. Standardization of investment practices could further reduce transaction costs, improve efficiencies, and enhance effectiveness.
Pooled procurement would be an electronic system, open to all infrastructure operators where they could search for and post information regarding their needs for procurement. The federal government would serve only as the platform operator; it would not be involved in any additional way in actual procurement or negotiation. However, creating a national platform would vastly expand the network of potential agencies that could work together. In the long run this may not even need to be operated by the federal government. It may well be that once the federal government creates this platform, it can eventually be spun off to the private sector or a broad consortium of public and private operators in a cooperative model.
Rather than simply getting a higher federal match rate, localities that can demonstrate cost savings through pooled procurement should receive additional federal grants explicitly tied to infrastructure funding. Rewarding innovative cost savings from procurement through a race-to the-top style incentive system might be enough to overcome the organization gridlock and existing impediments to coordination.