Contracting Fairness Being Examined in Washington

July 27, 2016

Increased contract competition contributes to good government

Source: Federal News Radio, Meredith Somers, July 8, 2016

Contracting fairness is not about eliminating government jobs.

That’s the message members of Congress and federal contracting and public policy experts want to make clear. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement when it comes to doing business with the private sector, especially with a looming administration turnover.

“Whoever it is who can do the job best and most cheaply ought to do the job, and we have a hard time trying to make those comparisons,” said Donald Kettl, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, during a July 8 House subcommittee hearing on contracting fairness.

“But the other thing — and this is a lesson the private sector teaches us — one of our real problems is that contracts don’t manage themselves,” Kettl added. “If you look at sustained studies from [the Office of Management and Budget] and from [the Government Accountability Office]  over the years, our acquisitions workforce is not strong enough and is not capable enough to do the jobs we’re asking it to do.”

“This is not about eliminating federal employees, what this is about is lower cost, better service, but also access to expertise, better quality, improved risk management, innovation, and a better meeting of peak demand and timeliness,” said John Palatiello, president of the Business Coalition for Fair Contracting.  READ MORE….

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