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Acquisition of products and services from contractors consumes about a quarter of discretionary spending governmentwide and is a key function in many federal agencies. In…
Acquisition of products and services from contractors consumes about a quarter of discretionary spending governmentwide and is a key function in many federal agencies. In fiscal year 2005 alone, federal government contracting involved over $388 billion. The work of the government is increasingly being performed by contractors, including in emergency and large-scale logistics operations such as hurricane response and recovery and the war in Iraq. Many agencies rely extensively on contractors to carry out their basic missions. The magnitude of the government's spending and dependence on contractors make it imperative that this function be performed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Yet, acquisition issues are heavily represented on GAO's list of government highrisk areas. In the 21st century, the government needs to reexamine and evaluate its strategic and tactical approaches to acquisition. To identify and discuss the key issues confronting the federal acquisition community, the Comptroller General hosted a forum in July 2006 that brought together acquisition experts from inside and outside the government. Participants shared their insights on challenges and opportunities for improving federal acquisition in an environment of increasing reliance on contractors and severe fiscal constraint.
Federal agencies are relying increasingly on contractors to perform their missions. With hundreds of billions of tax dollars spent each year on goods and services, it is…
Federal agencies are relying increasingly on contractors to perform their missions. With hundreds of billions of tax dollars spent each year on goods and services, it is essential that federal acquisition be handled in an efficient, effective, and accountable manner. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), however--as well as other accountability organizations, inspectors general, and the agencies themselves--continue to identify systemic weaknesses in key areas of acquisition. In fact, the acquisition function at several agencies has been on GAO's high-risk list, which identifies areas in the federal government with greater vulnerability to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. In January 2005, we added interagency contracting to this list. Far too often, the result of poor acquisitions has been an inability to obtain quality goods and services on time and at a fair price. We can no longer afford such outcomes. Given current fiscal demands and the fiscal challenges we are likely to face in the 21st century, the federal government must improve its ability to acquire goods and services in a cost-effective manner. GAO developed this framework to enable high-level, qualitative assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the acquisition function at federal agencies. Such assessments can help senior agency executives identify areas needing greater management attention, and enable accountability organizations (including GAO) to identify areas requiring more focused follow-up work. The framework consists of four interrelated cornerstones that our work has shown are essential to an efficient, effective, and accountable acquisition process: (1) organizational alignment and leadership, (2) policies and processes, (3) human capital, and (4) knowledge and information management. The framework supports an integrated evaluation approach, but each of these cornerstones can stand alone so users of this framework may tailor evaluations to an agency's specific needs.
Nearly $200 billion a year is funneled through the federal procurement system to buy everything from paper clips to stealth fighters. This procurement system can be…
Nearly $200 billion a year is funneled through the federal procurement system to buy everything from paper clips to stealth fighters. This procurement system can be thought of as an oscillating pendulum as it swings from one extreme of unresponsiveness to mission needs to the other extreme of hypersensitivity to mission. Out of a sense that the procurement pendulum had swung too far towards overregulation, two major procurement reform laws were passed: the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. Many observers suggest that these two laws have led to a revolution in the way the government buys. Are these reforms permanent? The view here is they are not because of various political forces.
Academically, public procurement has been a neglected area of study even though governmental entities and public procurement practitioners have diligently worked to improve public procurement practices. This article will identify common elements of public procurement knowledge through a brief analysis of the literature and will provide a summary of government efforts to improve public procurement practices. In addition, this article will comprehensively re-examine public procurement by using a systems approach as a method of inquiry. Finally, implications of the proposed public procurement system regarding future research and study will be discussed.
The fear of receiving a bid protest is said to affect acquisition strategies, yet it has not been empirically explored. Based on the Public Value Framework and interviews…
The fear of receiving a bid protest is said to affect acquisition strategies, yet it has not been empirically explored. Based on the Public Value Framework and interviews with contracting personnel, this research tests a model of antecedents to and consequences of the fear of a protest. Survey data was obtained from a sample of 350 contracting personnel. The fear of protest is mitigated by having sufficient procurement lead time and by source selection experience, and increased by protest risk. Fear of protest increases compromised technical evaluations, added procurement lead time, and transaction costs, while it decreases contracting officer authority and is associated with source selection method inappropriateness. Compromised technical evaluations, in turn, decrease contractor performance while contracting officer authority increases contractor performance. Thus, findings suggest that, indeed, the tail is wagging the dog. The research concludes with several managerial implications, study limitations and future research directions.
At all levels of government, inconsistencies exist regarding the terminology and the body of knowledge used to understand public procurement. Perspectives on what public…
At all levels of government, inconsistencies exist regarding the terminology and the body of knowledge used to understand public procurement. Perspectives on what public procurement is, or should be, ranges from routine ordering to sophisticated analysis of government spending. Definitional ambiguities have hampered attempts to define the field and unify its focus. This exploratory article examines the implications of the muddled nature of public procurement that has led to debate and uncertainty about the proper role of public procurement practitioners. To address these limitations, three dimensions of all public procurement systems are identified, and a general definition is proposed for describing the field and its institutionalized practices.
Emergency contracting has risen to the fore in both interest and importance in the US since September 11, 2001 (9/11). Most recently, the US government's response to…
Emergency contracting has risen to the fore in both interest and importance in the US since September 11, 2001 (9/11). Most recently, the US government's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita piqued the interest of both the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government and their respective oversight bodies. This paper briefly reviews the literature of emergency contracting with special focus on the statutory and regulatory framework for emergency contracting, identifies some contracting solutions established by the US government to deal more effectively with emergency contracting, and pinpoints some problems faced by emergency contracting agencies and anomalies of their emergency contracting practices.
In recent years, concerns over environmental degradation and environmental sustainability have pushed governments to search for new ways to combat environmental problems…
In recent years, concerns over environmental degradation and environmental sustainability have pushed governments to search for new ways to combat environmental problems. One such approach, which is gaining in popularity, is environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP). EPP attempts to address environmental challenges by taking advantage of government's vast purchasing power to create strong markets for environmentally friendly products and services. This article reviews governments’ experience with EPP in the United States. Specifically, the article describes the development of EPP in the federal government and reviews EPP activities at both the national and subnational levels. Next, the article presents several broad strategies that governments and procurement professionals can pursue in implementing EPP. The article concludes by identifying several challenges facing EPP.
In total, 14 credit unions have acquired 16 banks and savings institutions since 2012; 7 additional acquisitions are in progress and are expected to close before year-end…
In total, 14 credit unions have acquired 16 banks and savings institutions since 2012; 7 additional acquisitions are in progress and are expected to close before year-end 2019. The analysis of the population of these acquisitions spans the paths of annual differences in CAMEL ratios. Most acquirers have a somewhat revised capital structure and are often benefiting from economies of scope, as well as economies of scale. Since their acquisitions, the acquiring credit unions have become less risky, measured by simulated CAMEL ratios, and they are lending a larger share of their deposits. There is no apparent financial reason to discourage credit unions from acquiring additional banks and savings institutions. The National Credit Union Administration does not need to be particularly hesitant to allow credit unions to acquire banks and thrifts.
Financial analysis is done via simulated CAMEL ratios.
After acquiring banks, credit unions are less risky and lend a greater share of their deposits.
The study analyzes the population of the credit unions that have acquired banks since 2012, but the population consists of 14 banks acquiring 16 credit unions.
Credit unions should not be prohibited from further acquisitions of banks and thrifts.
Credit union members are better served after a credit union acquires a bank.
No previous study has explored the effects of credit unions acquiring banks and thrifts, which began in 2012.
In 1998 and 1999, the Office of Student Financial Assistance of the Department of Education and the Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of Commerce, were…
In 1998 and 1999, the Office of Student Financial Assistance of the Department of Education and the Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of Commerce, were designated as Performance-Based Organizations (PBOs), respectively. This paper examines the transformation progress of the agencies, as they attempt to convert to high-performing organizations by utilizing and establishing new and more flexible systems of performance-oriented business practices and processes.
The paper compares and contrasts the different approaches and tools used to improve management and organizational performance, as well as concentrate on human resources, procurement, budget, customer service, and internal controls. The document explores whether or not these agencies have improved their performance as a result of these flexibilities and examines the organizational and cultural challenges encountered as the agencies move from a restrictive and bureaucratic system, to a more liberal system of management and internal controls.
The Performance-Based Organizations (PBOs) concept is to have federal agencies focus on the customer, deliver high quality products, and devise more efficient operations. Therefore, the paper further examines whether or not the PBO legislation has been effective in changing the performance of federal organizations by granting administrative and managerial flexibilities aligned with corporate (agency) strategies, performance, and pay.