GAO finds competition lacking in some DoD contracts

Wednesday - 3/21/2012, 8:11pm EDT

Pentagon Solutions

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It should go without saying that competition in defense contracting is important.

Both the Office of Management and Budget and the Defense Department have proposed efforts to increase competition in contracting. But the Government Accountability, in a recent report, found room for improvement in how DoD manages the contracting process to ensure more offers on competitive contracts.

In fact, GAO found some lopsided competition with some of the Pentagon's programs.

Source: GAO

Michele Mackin, the assistant director for Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues at GAO, joined Pentagon Solutions with Francis Rose to discuss the report.

Mackin said GAO examined overall competition trends in DoD's contracting based on information from the Federal Procurement Data System.

Starting with fiscal-year 2011, the agency found that the competition rate for products — for which DoD had obligated $177 billion — was 41 percent.

For services, the competition rate, on $198 billion in obligated funds, was 74 percent.

Competition in DoD contracting is only one acquisition issue GAO has examined recently.

The watchdog agency also reviewed the development of the Integrated Acquisition Environment, an effort to consolidate a variety of data systems that support the federal government's acquisition system, such as FedBizOpps and FPDS.

GAO found that the General Services Administration had made strides in the initial development phase but warned that "higher costs and constrained resources" could present problems in the future.

Bill Woods, the director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues, discussed GAO's recommendations for GSA.

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