With the degree to which fiscal budgets are being stretched today, purchasing decisions are being weighed and watched much more closely, particularly when municipal, state or federal tax dollars are involved. But there is a common policy that is getting in the way of government officials’ ability to make the most informed decisions: prohibitions on factory visits.

It’s not hard to understand the underlying fear that produces the policy. The playbook of some vendors is filled with expensive dinners, elaborate trips and/or high-end gifts that are solely intended to bring or keep business. Some of us have seen our municipal officials highlighted on the news, caught on video taking an exotic hunting or fishing trip with a vendor when they were supposed to be reviewing production methods and materials. Because of these publicly revealed transgressions, the mere perception of any impropriety, whether real or imagined, is enough to convince some officials to ban factory visits.

Read the entire story from American City and County, our sister publication.