Competition was the main theme of the Defense Department’s second annual report on acquisition performance, released earlier this month. Declining budgets may be pushing defense contractors to look for work outside the government, but the Pentagon’s emphasis remains on promoting competition, according to Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.
The report analyzed contractors’ cost and schedule performance over more than a decade to see what motivated them to produce better results. Here are some takeaways:
1. The carrot-and-stick approach works.
2. Fixed-price isn’t always the best fix.
3. More competition does mean better performance.
4. Leadership matters, but it’s not clear how much.
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