Competition in Contracting Act

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The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) of 1984 is United States legislation governing the hiring of contractors. It requires U.S. federal government agencies to arrange “full and open competition through the use of competitive procedures” in their procurement activities unless otherwise authorized by law.[1]


A version of the CICA was introduced in 1982 by Senators William V. Roth, Jr., Carl Levin, and William S. Cohen as Senate bill 2127. They chose the phrase "full and open competition" and deliberately avoided the phrase "maximum competition."[1] Deputy Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci had proposed related steps to reform defense-related (military) acquisition.[1]

The law was passed as part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, P.L. 98-369, §§ 2701-2753, 98 Stat. 1175 (1984), and its competition requirements took effect on April 1, 1985.[1] The law defines a role for GAO to adjudicate "bid protests", which are claims that the government awarded a contract improperly.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Kate M. Manuel. 2011. Competition in Federal Contracting: An Overview of the Legal Requirements. Congressional Research Service. Pages 3-4.
  2. ^ U.S. Government Accountability Office, Office of General Counsel. Bid Protests at GAO: A Descriptive Guide, Ninth Edition 2009. Page 5.