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Authors: Brian Schultz and David Dotson
Competition in acquisition is an important topic and has been since the Department of Defense (DoD) started acquiring systems from the defense industry. The key premise is that DoD will get greater value for the price paid as a result of competition. Some studies suggest savings in the 15 percent to 25 percent range and even greater under some conditions as a result of competition. However, greater value is not always tied to lower prices or cost savings. Greater value can be realized through a superior technical solution as part of a trade-off of price and other factors in a source selection.
Authors: Ginny Wydler, Su Chang, and Erin M. Schultz
Research shows that continuing competitive pressure applied during development and production leads to better industry performance, often at reduced cost. However, the entrenched practice of one-time competition for an entire program life cycle often endows the winner with a very strong monopolistic power that lasts for decades. This article describes continuous competition as leverage to acquire more effective results. It offers an alternative method for continuous competition—Competitive Multisourcing with Distributed Awards—under an applicable set of conditions and an appropriate business case.
Government contracting is rife with opportunities for miscommunication and misperception. This can undermine trust and fuel spirals of conflict. For this article, the authors interviewed participants and analyzed Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest decisions involving Department of Defense source selections. They found agency, vendor, and GAO practices that trigger and fuel these spirals. Contracting agencies and GAO can take steps to improve communication, reduce inconsistencies, and reduce perceptions of bias, thereby mitigating costly bid protests.