Pentagon Resists Competitive Bidding for Contracts

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
(graphic: Edie,

The Department of Defense continues to miss opportunities to save millions of dollars by competitively bidding out contracts for military work, according to the agency’s inspector general.


The Pentagon had previously said it would make efforts to make bids more competitive, even when only one company has submitted a proposal. Defense procurement officials are supposed to resolicit bids in some cases so that more than one offer is on the table for consideration.


But the IG faulted the Pentagon for not realizing “potential cost savings associated with increased competition and re-competing $390.9 million in contract modifications.”


The Project on Government Oversight (POGO), an independent watchdog organization, has repeatedly called for the Defense Department to use more competitive bidding.


“Full and open competition in government contracting allows for innovation, aggressive negotiations, and better deals for the taxpayer. Despite those known benefits, competition in federal contracting is often the exception to the rule,” wrote Scott Amey at POGO.


Amey also noted that over the past 12 years, nearly 40% of Pentagon contracts “were awarded without full and open competition….The agency has a genuine problem getting the best deals that protect taxpayers.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Pentagon Single-Bid Contracting Hurting Taxpayers (by Scott Amey, Project on Government Oversight)

Improvement Needed With DoD Single-Bid Program to Increase Effective Competition for Contracts (Department of Defense, Inspector General) (pdf)

Pentagon No-Bid Contracts Rise to 45% in 2011 (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Food Supply Company, Employing Former Head of Defense Contracting Agency, Wins $4 Billion No-Bid Contract (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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