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US Government Contracting Process Article Abstract

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Article Abstract

Berrios, R. (2006). Government Contracts and Contractor Behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 63: 119-130.

Privatization, in the realm of government contracts, could be conceptualized in terms of outsourcing and contracting out. Here, the government reaches out to firms in the private sector to avail essential and other critical services. There are various benefits that could be realized as a consequence of such a move. These include, but they are not limited to, enhanced efficiency and access to higher skill levels. To a large extent, the competitive nature of such engagements results in greater efficiency in as far as service delivery is concerned. It is important to note that in principle, the government contracting system ought to not only be competitive, but also open. In some instances, however, this has not been the case. This is more so the case given that some of the contracts awarded in the past have not sufficiently followed the competitive bidding ideals. Further, in some instances, the government has held the short end of the stick in as far as risk is concerned due to cost-plus contract awards. Yet another major concern in this realm has been lack of systems to not only oversee, but also monitor private contractors. In this case, the government has in some instances failed to actively utilize past performance evaluations. The situation is further complicated by the fact that most of the private contractors engaged by the government have extensive contacts inside the U.S. government, have vast resources at their disposal, and are relatively well-established in their respective industries. With this in mind, there is need to conduct a review of the present U.S. government contracting practices and evaluate private contractor behaviors. A study of this nature would enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of the U.S. government contracting process.

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