Competition in Federal Contracting

Competition in Federal Contracting : Legal Overview

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Competition in federal procurement contracting has long been of interest to Congress and the executive branch, in part because of the belief that increased competition among potential vendors results in lower prices for the government. President Obama issued a memorandum calling for increased competition in federal contracting on March 4, 2009, shortly after taking office, and his Administration has sought to reduce the number of "noncompetitive" contracts by various means, including by issuing guidance on "Increasing Competition and Structuring Contracts for Best Results" in October 2009. Subsequently, in 2012, the Department of Defense (DOD), which accounts for 60% to 70% of federal procurement spending per year, amended its regulations to require that contracting officers re-solicit agency requirements if a solicitation allowed fewer than 30 days for the receipt of proposals and resulted in only one bid or offer. Further guidance was issued in 2014. The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) of 1984 generally governs competition in federal procurement contracting. Any procurement contract not entered into through the use of procurement procedures expressly authorized by a particular statute is subject to CICA. CICA requires that contracts be entered into after "full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures" unless certain circumstances exist that would permit agencies to use noncompetitive procedures. Full and open competition can be obtained through the use of sealed bids, competitive proposals, or other procures defined as competitive under CICA (e.g., procurement of architectural or engineering services under the Brooks Act). Full and open competition under CICA also encompasses "full and open competition after exclusion of sources," such as results when agencies engage in dual sourcing or "set aside" acquisitions for small businesses (i.e., conduct competitions in which only small businesses may participate). Any contract entered into without full and open competition is noncompetitive, but noncompetitive contracts can still be in compliance with CICA when circumstances permitting other than full and open competition exist. CICA recognizes seven such circumstances, including (1) single source for goods or services; (2) unusual and compelling urgency; (3) maintenance of the industrial base; (4) requirements of international agreements; (5) statutory authorization or acquisition of brand-name items for resale; (6) national security; and (7) contracts necessary in the public interest. CICA also allows agencies to use "special simplified procedures" when acquiring goods or services whose expected value is less than $150,000, or commercial goods or services whose expected value is less than $6.5 million ($12 million in certain circumstances).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 26 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 1.52mm | 117.93g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507734506
  • 9781507734506