Why commercial acquisition is hard for government
Source: FederalTimes, Article written by Michael P. Fischetti, published June 24, 2015
If one were to ask the average citizen if the government should buy more like industry, most would probably say yes. So why then has commercial contracting by the government struggled to catch on?
Theoretically, the U.S. federal government encourages buying commercial whenever practical. Passage of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) in 1994 included the government’s stated preference for commercial items. As stated in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), agencies shall determine whether commercial or nondevelopmental items are available to meet their needs, acquire them when available, and require contractors at all tiers to incorporate them as components. This can have worthwhile affects, such as minimizing acquisition lead time and reducing the need for detailed design specifications, expensive product testing, or government-funded research and development. The government can keep current, as commercial products or services will conform to industry trends and standards and reduce government-specific tailoring that increases cost.
For help with Government Contracting: contact your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded through Cooperative Agreements between the U.S. Department of Defense and state and local governments/institutions, PTACs provide free and low-cost assistance in virtually all areas of government contracting.