Tag Archives: Contracts

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Personal Services Contracts: Is It Time to Lift the Ban?


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Author: Steven A. Fasko

It is no surprise to those of us in the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition workforce that contractors are well integrated into our daily routine. The integration of contractors into our DoD workforce has blended it dramatically, changing the landscape of how we provide and manage services. Over the many decades during which this workforce blending has occurred, we have needed to tread lightly in our relationship with contractors in our offices. In fact, Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy warned of possible difficulties that may occur in contractor integrated offices. One issue has remained unchanged: the risk of creating a de facto personal services contract due to this relationship.

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Use of Fixed-Price Incentive Firm (FPIF) Contracts in Development and Production


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Author: Frank Kendall, The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

The choice of appropriate contract types is very situationally dependent, and a number of factors must be taken into account to determine the best contract type to use. From the perspective of both industry and the government, it makes a good deal of difference whether the Defense Department asks for Cost type, Fixed-Price Incentive (FPI), or Firm Fixed Price (FFP) proposals. In the original Better Buying Power (BBP) initiatives, although Dr. Carter and I encouraged greater use of FPI, we also included the caveat “where appropriate.” BBP 2.0 modifies this guidance to stress using appropriate contract types while continuing to encourage use of FPI for early production.

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Relieving Joint Pain: Planning Government Acquisition of Complex Common Systems


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Authors: Anthony C. Wicht and Edward F. Crawley

Commonality, an increasingly popular strategy in developing complex defense projects, leverages sharing or reuse across projects to significantly reduce life-cycle costs. Despite its potential within DoD as a best practice, programs focused on commonality have met with mixed success. This article argues that commonality strategies must be matched with complementary acquisition strategies to improve outcomes. Full, open competition is not the best acquisition strategy if commonality can unlock life-cycle affordability. Metrics and payment structures must consider the commonality goals to be achieved; otherwise, contractor motivations and government goals will be misaligned. The recommendations in this article draw on commonality research conducted on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which examined 19 DoD, commercial, and NASA case studies.

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