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Friday, December 28, 2012

Defense Contracting: A Compendium

This Compendium includes a wealth of reports on defense contracting and acquisition including topics such as competition in federal contracting; the Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid-protest process; contracting programs for minority-owned and other small businesses; the Berry Amendment requiring defense procurement to come from domestic sources; the Buy America Act; the specialty metal clause of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Department of Defense food and military uniform procurement; defense surplus equipment disposal; and more.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has fielded a technologically advanced and superior military force and is supplied by a sophisticated acquisition system. This acquisition system is comprised of the management policy and processes that guide all DOD acquisition programs. However, at the same time, DOD has experienced significant problems managing the costs, schedule, and performance of this acquisition system, despite continued efforts to reform defense acquisition policies, personnel, and processes. In recent years, Congress has expressed increasing concerns with the management of the DOD acquisition system. Congressional concerns include the failure of DOD to develop effective acquisition strategies to field weapons systems and effectively provide oversight and accountability for service contracts and contractors.

Weapon acquisition programs such as the Future Combat System and the U.S. Coast Guard Deepwater Program have raised concerns in Congress because they have been managed by private-sector lead system integrators (LSIs), instead of being managed by DOD personnel. DOD has conceded in the past that the government has lacked the organic capability to manage these programs, and is now taking steps to transfer the role of the LSI to performance by defense acquisition workforce personnel.

Some observers, for example, point to an increased use of private security contractors to perform functions traditionally considered inherently governmental, and question whether using contractors to perform such functions reduces incentives to build governmental capacity to carry out these functions. Despite congressional efforts to expand court-martial jurisdiction and jurisdiction under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), some contractors may still remain outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, both civil or military, for improper conduct in connection with U.S. counterinsurgency operations overseas.

Date of Report: August 7, 2012
Number of Pages: 192
Order Number: C-12011
Price: $59.95

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