Contract Management: Trends and Challenges in Acquiring Services

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies spend billions of tax dollars each year to buy services--from clerical support to information technology assistance to the management of national laboratories. The federal government spent more than $87 billion in services--a 24 percent increase in real terms from fiscal year 1990. Some service procurements are not being done efficiently, putting taxpayer dollars at risk. In particular, agencies are not clearly defining their requirements, fully considering alternative solutions, performing vigorous price analyses, and adequately overseeing contractor performance. This testimony (1) describes service contracting trends and the ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. May 22, 2001.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies spend billions of tax dollars each year to buy services--from clerical support to information technology assistance to the management of national laboratories. The federal government spent more than $87 billion in services--a 24 percent increase in real terms from fiscal year 1990. Some service procurements are not being done efficiently, putting taxpayer dollars at risk. In particular, agencies are not clearly defining their requirements, fully considering alternative solutions, performing vigorous price analyses, and adequately overseeing contractor performance. This testimony (1) describes service contracting trends and the changing acquisition environment, (2) discusses the challenges confronting the government in acquiring services, and (3) highlights some efforts underway to address these challenges. GAO found that purchases of services now account for about 43 percent of federal contracting expenses--the largest single spending category. The growth of services has been driven largely by the government's increased purchases of information technology services and professional, administrative, and management support services. Poor contract management has undermined the government's ability to obtain good value for the money and continues to be a major problem for the two biggest service purchasers-the Departments of Defense and Energy. Performance-based service contracts and the integration of strategic human capital management into agency planning are two ways to address some of the contract management and human capital challenges."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 22, 2001

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Contract Management: Trends and Challenges in Acquiring Services, text, May 22, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290368/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.