GAO Report: Pentagon Service Contracts More Competive than Product Contracts

Site: Defense.gov

The Defense Department offered more competitive service-based contracts in fiscal 2011 than product-based contracts, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO issued the findings Thursday in a report commissioned by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

GAO found the competition rate for obligated awards in service contracts increased to 78 percent from 41 percent in fiscal 2010.The Pentagon’s competition rate for all services and product contracts was 58 percent, according to the GAO report.

Competition rate refers to the proportion of dollars required through full-and-open contracts to all contracts and orders, according to Federal Computer Week.

The GAO found that the Pentagon, Navy and Army saw little change in service competition rates from fiscal 2007 to 2011, maintaining rates from 79 to 78 percent. Additional defense agencies did see growth in their competition rates from 85 to 89 percent, according to the GAO.

However, the Air Force is lagging behind the trend evident in other Pentagon agencies as its competition rate dropped from 75 to 59 percent. According to the GAO report, Air Force officials are already working on solutions to address the decline.

The Interior department’s National Business Center and the General Services Administration, which provides support services to the Pentagon, saw competitive rates that were slightly better than most Pentagon agencies.The GAO said the offices averaged 81 percent.

One contracting office within the Interior department, however, had a 51 percent competition rate for services contracts, the GAO said.

The GAO said the study was completed as part of analysis of the fiscal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act and only examined services unrelated to weapon systems development projects.

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