This paper examines automated contract writing systems, a vital aspect of public procurement which has replaced the more manual methods of drafting of contracts used in the past. Using the system of the U.S. federal government as an illustration, the various components of a contract writing system are detailed and discussed, distinguishing contract writing from eprocurement and demonstrating how a bifurcated approach has been adopted for contracting automation. The larger implications of this dual nature are analyzed along with misconceptions about contract writing systems and the contrast between the perspectives of procurement versus finance. Future research devoted more to cross-disciplinary issues and human factors affecting contract writing, rather than just systems development issues, may offer an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of public procurement automation.
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