The Changing Face of Procurement Policy

Report Number: NPS-AM-10-061

Series: Contract Management

Category: Competition

Report Series: Proceedings Paper

Authors: Brian Johnson

Title: The Changing Face of Procurement Policy

Published: 2010-04-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Other Research Faculty

Full Text URL:

Keywords: Competition


Everyday, contracting officers must procure the goods and services for the Federal Government, while balancing competing and oftentimes conflicting demands. Over time a number of laws, regulations and guidance have been put in place to direct the actions of the Government as it interacts with the private sector in this country. As a result of our political process and the method in which laws are created, some of these requirements have conflicted with other guidance already in place within the Federal acquisition process. Several examples are present throughout our history, and in current regulations, to illustrate these forces that the contracting officer must manage. One example is the balancing act required between full and open competition, under Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) and the direction given by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to set aside requirements for different types of small disadvantaged businesses. However, through innovative strategies, the creative contracting officer can balance these requirements while providing the best value for the Government. This paper frames the context of how these competing demands have evolved and how the government can balance these different needs and responsibilities.