During our combined 70 years in acquisitions, we often have wondered why the government believes it needs to devote additional resources for incentives to achieve a benefit. The government actually has complete control over one of the strongest contract incentives possible—cash flow. Most important, in our fiscally constrained, sequestration-challenged environment, this incentive wouldn’t require additional resources: It uses funds already budgeted or obligated. Unfortunately, we haven’t really tried to exploit it as we should. So let’s get to it.
Authors: Rene G. Rendon, Uday M. Apte, and Aruna Apte
This article presents the results of empirical studies of current practices in services acquisition in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The authors studied the management practices in areas such as contract characteristics, acquisition management methods, use of the project management approach, acquisition leadership, and ownership of requirements. They also studied areas such as the ability of personnel responsible for acquisition, adequacy of acquisition billets and their fill rates, and training provided to services acquisition personnel. The data confirmed that the Navy uses a regional contracting approach, while the Army and the Air Force use an installation-level approach. These differences have important implications for other acquisition management practices, such as the use of project management and contractor surveillance.