Letter: Readers weigh in on ending cost-plus contracting

Ending cost-plus contracting is not a silver bullet to contracting woes, but trained staff members can still help.

Regarding "": The proposal to eliminate cost-plus contracts and rely on fixed-price contracts indicates a lack of understanding of acquisition options. The reality is that the requirements and capabilities areoften not sufficiently developed up front to support a firm fixed-pricecontract. Firm fixed-price contracts are appropriate for routine,repeatable goods and services. Regarding "": Cost plus contracts, if properly used, save money. If contractors bid on work that is not well defined, but necessary (repairing jet aircraft, when you don't know everything that is broken???), the contractor must cover his cost. If in doubt, he willbid the maximum cost possible, if he must bid firm fixed price. So...if only a small amount of work is really needed, the government is out the balance (we paid too much). Sen. McCain is correct to challenge misuse of cost-plus contracts,but we all should challenge any misuse of any type contract.Sen.  McCain should staff government contracting with an ample supply ofqualified COs, and let them do their work.Regarding "": This is so typical of the political pandering that isrampant during the election process. Only a truly uninformed orwillfully ignorant person would believe that the U.S. government couldcontinue to function in an environment that allowed only fixed-pricecontracts. I can easily visualize the amount of time and resources thatwould be consumed arguing over "scope" issues. People tend to forget that a cost overrun does not necessarily equal more profit for thecontractor. The problem is lack of oversight and "scope creep" far moreoften than than the contractor's deliberate action to drive cost up.Regarding "": It is simply foolish to believe that a year-long effort would not overlap with new presidential directives, legislation, political appointee changes, technology and security directives, personnel changes, etc. So to lock into a fixed-price contract is not providing the best evolutionary solution to the problem. Actually we have found that the Agile methodology provides for more coverage of dynamically changing requirements.Regarding "": With 26 years as a senator, McCain should know better. Fixed-price contracts are great when there are few if any unknowns. Nobody in their right mind would suggest or sign a fixed-price contract when development of new capabilities/technologies/products is needed. Failure of the A-12 aircraft program is a case in point. Fixed price is the pathway to zero technological progress. McCain is either firing a cheap shot, purposefully lying to further his political ambition, just plain stupid, or both.
No understanding in saying no to cost-plus contracts

McCain wants to end cost-plus contracting





Anonymous


Qualified contracting officials help avoid all contract misuse

McCain wants to end cost-plus contracting







Anonymous


What about focusing on scope creep?

McCain wants to end cost-plus contracting









Anonymous


Fixed-price contracts leave no room to grow

McCain wants to end cost-plus contracting


Anonymous


McCain's call for fixed price will stall development

McCain wants to end cost-plus contracting



Anonymous


What do you think? Paste a comment in the box below (registration required), or send your comment to letters@fcw.com (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.
X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.