Talk:Government procurement in the United States

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A Few Minor Suggestions[edit]

While searching for content on government contracting, I've found a few other sources offering courses on the subject including: SBA Government Contracting, Villanova University Government Contracting Certificates, and Potomac Certificate Programs.

SBA offers free courses while Villanova and Potomac offer courses and programs around government contracting. RunnerTales (talk) 18:17, 28 April 2011 (UTC)


A Few Minor Issues, One Major Issue[edit]

Minor: The Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR"), 48 C.F.R., is singular, not plural. Consequently, the references under the FASA heading and under "The Regulations" need to be fixed. Also, references like "FAR 7, Acquisition Planning" should more properly be written as "FAR Part 7, Acquisition Planning." I will make these changes.

Major: Much of the article could be better written. For example, the intro to "Special Note on Commercial Items" reads: "The authority under FAR 12, Commercial Items (and services), must be used thoughtfully and carefully. It is very tempting for a contracting officer to use FAR 12 and hence FAR 13, in situations where such use is clearly not appropriate in view of the basic reasons commercial item acquisition authority was created by Congress." Both in substance and form, this sentence -- and frankly, the whole section that follows it -- sounds juvenile, as though it were written by a student, perhaps someone taking a government contracts class in law school. No member of the government contracts bar would write this. [WHERE IS THE PROOF OR VALID BASIS OF THIS CONCLUSION/ASSERTION? FOR EXAMPLE, IT COULD BE SUGGESTED THAT THE "EFFECT" OR DESIRED OUTCOME OF FAR 12 COMMERCIAL ITEMS WAS TO EXPAND GOV ACQUISITONS TO NON TRADITIONAL VENDORS TO REDUCE COSTS AND EXPAND ACCESS TO PRIVATE R&D; IN FACT, FAR 12 AND FAR 10 SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT FAR 12 IS NOT TO BE USED UNLESS MARKET RESEARCH REVEALS THE DESIRED DELIVERABLES ARE IN FACT SOLD TO NON GOVERNMENTAL PURCHASERS AND THUS SUPPORT A FINDING THAT THE OBJECT OF AN ACQUISITION IS IN FACT A COMMERCIAL ITEM - YET REVIEWS OF CONTRACTS SHOWS A HIGH NUMBER OF CONTRACTS USING FAR 12 WITHOUT THE REQUIRED FINDINGS UNDER FAR 10, MARKET RESEARCH, OR MEETING THE DEFINITIONS OF A COMMERCIAL ITEM IN FAR 2.1. THIS HAS A VERY ADVERSE IMPACT - E.G., WHERE NO EFFICIENT MARKET PRICING MECHANISM EXISTS THUS CAN SUBSTITUTE FOR THE NEED TO DELVE INTO A CONTRACTORS PRICING (E.G., SEE http://www.fasmg.org/price3.html DISCUSSING TRUTH IN NEGOTIATIONS ACT ON NON COMMERCIAL ITEMS CONTRACTS AND ITS REQ ON CONTRACTOR TO DISCLOSE COST AND PRICING INFO FOR A CONTRACTING OFFICER TO JUDGE THE PRICE IS OR ISN'T FAIR AND REASONABLE. COMMERCIAL MARKETS INHERENTLY PRODUCE FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICES BUT ONLY WHERE SUFFICIENT COMPETITION EXISTS PLUS TRANSPARENCY IN PRICING E.G. CATALOG PRICES, TO COMPARE INFO AND MAKE REASONED DECISIONS. ALSO, THE GOV'S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE CRIPPLED UNDER FAR 12 BECAUSE OF THE DESIRE TO ENTICE NO KIDDING COMMERCIAL FIRMS TO CONTRACT WITH THE GOV VERSUS TRADITIONAL GOV CONTRACTORS. SAME THING FOR ELIMINATING THE RIGHT OF A UNILATERAL MODIFICATION UNDER FAR 12 - TO ENTICE COMMERCIAL VENDORS BE REQUIRING BILATERAL CONSENT TO MODIFICATIONS VERSUS UNILATERAL AUTHORITY UNDER THE NON COMMERCIAL ITEMS CHANGES CLAUSES. MOREOVER, DOD HAS ALSO EXPRESSED THE CONCERN THAT COMMERCIAL ITEM CONTRACTING HAS BEEN MISUSED - SEE http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/testimony/contract-oversight/co-rcv-20050315.html WHY WOULD A CONTRACTING OFFICER WANT TO USE (OR MISUSE) FAR 12/13? BECAUSE OF ITS (AND FAR 13) SIMPLIFICATION AND STREAMLINING OF ACQUISITION WORKLOAD - I.E., LESS WORK, FAR SIMPLER CONTRACTS, VERSUS FAR 15, NEGOTIATED ACQUISITIONS, CONTRACTS. ALSO, SMALL BUYERS GENERALLY DON'T HAVE THE EXPERIENCE NEEDED FOR NON FAR 12/13 ACQUISITIONS THUS TEND TO STICK TO WHAT THEY KNOW HOW TO DO. ALSO, GOV ACQUISITION OFFICERS HANDLE TREMENDOUS WORKLOADS THUS ARE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY WHICH FAR 12/13 CAN HELP WITH EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE SERIOUS DRAWBACKS TO USING FAR 12 WITH THE WRONG VENDOR BASE OR PRODUCTS. IT IS INTERESTING THAT THE REVIEWER HERE DISPUTES THE PREMISES AND CONCLUSIONS BUT DID NOT OFFER ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT CRITICISM EXCEPT RESORT TO AUTHORITY IE 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE - A LOGICAL FALLACY. THIS COMMENTARY APPEARS TO BE AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK ON THE PRECEEDING AUTHORS. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT AD HOMINEM ATTACKS QUALIFY AS A LOGICAL FALACY AND A PRIMA FACIA INDICATION OF A WEAK ARGUMENT BY THIS REVIEWER WHICH HAS BEEN CHALLENGED AS WHOLLY WITHOUT EVIDENCE OR SUPPORT. MORE CONSTRUCTIVELY, IT HAS BEEN NOTED THAT THIS PARTICULAR WIKI IS INTENDED FOR STRAIGHTFORWARD FACTS VERSUS COMMENTARY THEREFORE THAT WOULD BE A LEGITIMATE CRITICISM OF HOW THIS IS WRITTEN BASED ON WIKI CONVENTIONS FOR THIS PARTICULAR FORUM. IT ALSO HAS BEEN INDICATED THAT THERE ARE OTHER WIKI FORUMS FOR PRACTICAL KNOW HOW / PRACTICE ADVICE THUS SOME OF THIS CONTENT SHOULD BE MOVED TO ANOTHER CONTEXT WITH A LINK - THAT WOULD BE A USEFUL AND CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENT AS WELL. MOREOVER, IT SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THIS IS AN AREA SUBJECT TO CONSIDERABLE DISAGREEMENT AND VARIANCE OF OPINION. EVERY YEAR THERE ARE MANY REPORTS EG FROM GAO, CONGRESS, ETC WHICH ARE LESS THAN COMPLIMENTARY ON HOW GOVERMENT ACQUISITIONS ARE CONDUCTED THUS CRITICISMS SUCH AS ARE REFERENCED ABOVE IE. MISUSE OF FAR 12 AND FAR 13 SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITIONS, SHOULD NOT BE SO EASILY DISMISSED OR CHARACTERIZED IN THE MANNER INDICATED ABOVE, EITHER IN TONE OR IN CONTENT, PARTICULARLY WHERE EVEN DOD HAS TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF CONGRESS ABOUT THE VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS ARISING FROM MISUSE OF FAR 12/13 (SEE ABOVE). IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL DEBATE WITH PEOPLE WHO RESORT TO RUDENESS WHERE THERE IS A LACK OF FOCUS ON IDEAS AND EVIDENCE BUT RATHER ON PEOPLE] Maybe nobody has the time or energy to do a major rewrite (this is the case for me), or maybe nobody wants to upset the original author. To anyone with the inclination to do a major rewrite, please take a look at how a concise overview of government contracts law should look: http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Jan/1/241470.html BK DC (talk) 18:46, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I've got some experience in this field (over thirty years) and would gladly help edit this article. It reallly is pretty badly structured and written right now, but I do commend the original author for the attempt at comprehensive coverage of a very difficult subject. I was going to start with the introduction, but when you click on the first "edit" button it opens up the next section. I'll confess to being a bit of a dinosaur with such things but am willing to learn. Any guides willing to help me help the site? Government Contracts (talk) 04:45, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

A useful source[edit]

While doing research for another article, I stumbled across this very thorough resource -- and it's in the public domain, so you can copy-paste to your heart's content. Enjoy! Agradman appreciates civility/makes occasional mistakes 02:17, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Merger of tendering stages[edit]

I propose that Request for tender, Request for proposal and Request for quotation should all be merged here as they seem to be US-centric. - Fayenatic (talk) 12:39, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

While they may be US-centric, I'm not sure what they have to do with 'government procurement' other than the government uses many of the same artifacts as the rest of the business world. Kuru (talk) 14:03, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
These terms are all used in the UK business world so they are not US specific or Government specific. Nicholsr (talk) 20:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

The articles should NOT be formally merged, but perhaps some material should be copied over - they are all in fact originally British terms, and are used throughout much of the English-speaking world, but the articles' material is US-centric. However, it should suffice to broaden the articles' content with new sections - I'm splitting them up into international bits and US bits, but have to admit I have no legal expertise to add more for other countries. I've tried to internationalize them as best I can.

Do not merge. This is a terrible suggestion. The 3 articles proposed to be merged are generic terms used throughout the private and public sectors, not limited to the U.S., nor to government. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 21:00, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

This is correct. The three proposed terms are widely used in general business, not just in government procurement.Jefflayman (talk) 16:18, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Do not merge. This article is way too long and complex already. Djembayz (talk) 18:12, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Suggest 1. The Contracts be deleted[edit]

I suggest this section be removed. Its more of a fun fact then part of an encylopdic article of government procurement/contracts. (Qunniq (talk) 14:55, 8 July 2011 (UTC))

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