Large vs. small contractors

There have been many articles lately regarding lead integrators (Federal Computer Week's "DOD renews acquisition reform by focusing on unearned fees" article from March 19, 2007, and also the Internal Revenue Service/Computer Sciences Corp. debacle among others) and the cost to the government in fees, lost time, program delays and many other acquisition issues.

Isn't this the main problem in the cost of contract consolidations (read that bundling)? For every dollar saved in contracting costs through consolidation many more dollars are spent in finger-pointing, layers of contractors and pass-through costs. Often contracting officers and program managers tout the value of working with small businesses because they can get immediate answers and reach company decision-makers. These smaller contracts, although more cumbersome to manage because of the numbers of contracts, get the work done more expeditiously. Also, these smaller businesses MUST perform well since every contract they have affects their bottom line directly and they can't afford mistakes.

Kathy DeMolet
DeMolet Consulting

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