If one were to ask the average citizen if the government should buy more like industry, most would probably say yes.
So why then has commercial contracting by the government struggled to catch on? In this article NCMA Executive Director Michael P. Fischetti addresses this question.
Theoretically, the U.S. federal government encourages buying commercial whenever practical. Passage of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) in 1994 included the government’s stated preference for commercial items. As stated in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), agencies shall determine whether commercial or nondevelopmental items are available to meet their needs, acquire them when available, and require contractors at all tiers to incorporate them as components. This can have worthwhile affects, such as minimizing acquisition lead time and reducing the need for detailed design specifications, expensive product testing, or government-funded research and development. The government can keep current, as commercial products or services will conform to industry trends and standards and reduce government-specific tailoring that increases cost.