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A Return to Competitive Contracting: Congress Needs to Clean Up the Procurement Process Mess

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Abstract:

In recent years there appears to have been a failure of oversight into contracting procedures at almost every level of government. Inspectors general within departments and agencies have been pressured to cover up the bad news; some have been fired for their unwillingness to do so, and increasingly it appears as though others were selected because of their willingness to look the other way.

This paper examines what is presently known about the potential size and scope of wasteful and corrupt contracting within the federal government. It provides the new Congress with hopefully useful guidance for developing a broader understanding the problem. Finally, it outlines some steps that might be taken to restore greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds in the procurement process.