Letter: T&M contracts not necessarily risky

Regarding "DOD toughens checks on risky contract type"

The choice of titles for this article showed a narrow — one could say one-sided — perspective that misrepresents the subject to some extent.

Time and materials contracts are not necessarily inherently risky unless the entity contracting for the product or service does not understand its requirement and/or cannot effectively articulate it to the contractor. This is all too often the case for the government, particularly the Defense Department. In this case, T&M can be risky for contractors as well, since there is significant scope and other associated impacts.

In my opinion, T&M is unpopular today mostly because the government cannot absolve accountability for its constant changes and poor vision. If T&M is deemed risky to the government because the contractor doesn't understand the requirement, this should be evident in proposal reviews where the requirement is solidly defined,  in which case the risk to government should be minimized already.

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