There have been many reform initiatives in the past few decades that have affected how the federal government contracts for goods and services. Through these initiatives, agencies have moved toward eliminating government-unique specifications to the maximum extent practicable in order to obtain products and services in a more timely, efficient, and cost effective manner. The recent reforms have given the government greater ability to obtain commercial products and services while limiting non-commercial practices.
The reduction of government-unique requirements allows more companies to enter the federal market, and benefits the agencies by enlarging the seller-base to increase competition and lower prices. While much progress has been made, the acquisition process is not perfect and at times garners stories of abuse and mismanagement. Though an aberration and not the norm, these stories put a stain on the entire government procurement process. Many times eliciting legislative actions that are harmful to the overall acquisition process. The Chamber works to educate staff so legislation is not hastily enacted with the goal of improving the process, while actually harming it.
Each year numerous provisions are introduced in Congress seeking to alter the procurement landscape—typically to the Defense Authorization bill. Some are beneficial, while others are onerous provisions that create impediments to doing business with the government. The Chamber works continuously to promote an efficient, streamlined procurement process.