FEDERAL CONTRACTING; Opportunities Exist to Increase Competition and Assess Reasons When Only One Offer Is Received
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Competition is a cornerstone of the acquisition system and a critical tool for achieving the best possible return on investment for taxpayers. The benefits of competition in acquiring goods and services from the private sector are well established. Competitive contracts can help save the taxpayer money, improve contractor performance, curb fraud, and promote accountability for results. While federal statute and acquisition regulations generally require that contracts be awarded on the basis of full and open competition, they also permit federal agencies to award noncompetitive contracts in certain circumstances, for example, when only one vendor can supply the requirements or when a sole source award is made under specified small business programs. The government obligates tens of billions of dollars every year under noncompetitive contracts. Further, the government obligates billions of dollars annually under contracts that are awarded competitively but for which the government receives only one offer-situations the Office of Management and Budget OMB has recently cited, along with noncompetitive contracts, as high risk.
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