Is competition in federal contracting dead?

Executive Order 14036, Promoting Competition in the American Economy, was signed by President Joe Biden. Under Executive Order 14036, the Secretary of Defense is responsible for increasing competition in the defense industrial base in federal procurements. President Barack Obama has called for a study of how competition is used in the United States, as well as a push to foster competition throughout the economy. For numerous years, the number of businesses conducting business with the federal government has decreased. According to a new Chamber of Commerce survey, small firms suffer from a lack of competition.

The federal procurement procedure follows a Ronco-like “set it and forget it” mantra, which has resulted in a decrease in the number of enterprises contracting with the government. The federal government issues a request, waits for responses from companies that have figured out how to handle the multiple barriers to doing business with the government, and then awards contracts based on the offers submitted. Even when it is aware of alternative capable companies,

the government does not usually contact them or take them into account when making an award choice.

Better electronic tools and training for federal government contracting officers are needed to search the marketplace for companies that can meet government needs. The contracting officer’s market research, the firms considered for award, the company’s prices, and other special terms and conditions should all be tracked and recorded in the tools. According to Ed Rollins, President Obama will not be successful in improving competitiveness with American companies unless he changes the way government contracts are handled. He proposes new technologies to make government contracting more transparent and accessible to the public. According to him, the move will also boost government outreach during the contracting process.

With President Obama’s emphasis on boosting contracting with diverse companies and purchasing more American-made goods, now is the moment to bring about significant reform and promote competition in federal contracts. Senator John Thune believes that the government’s definition of competition and the mechanisms by which it acquires competition need to be updated.

By: Mariatu Alale

Edited by: Nakira Whitehead