Too Dependent on Contractors? Minimum Standards for Responsible Governance

18 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2008 Last revised: 29 May 2012

Steven L. Schooner

George Washington University - Law School

Daniel S. Greenspahn

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: Summer 2008

Abstract

While acknowledging that there are many benefits, challenges, and risks involved in outsourcing, this article asserts that failed implementation, rather than outsourcing policy, explains the government's current (mis)management of its contractors. This article explores the minimum standards for responsible governance following more than 15 years of ill-conceived and inadequate investment in the federal government's acquisition workforce, followed by a governmentwide failure to respond to a dramatic increase in procurement activity. These trends have led to a buying and contract management regime animated by triage, with insufficient resources available for contract administration, management, and oversight. The old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" rings true. Accordingly, a prospective investment in upgrading the number, skills, incentives, and morale of government purchasing officials would reap huge long-term dividends for the taxpayers.

Keywords: public procurement, outsourcing, privatization, government contract law, acquisition workforce

JEL Classification: H42, H57, K12, K23, L33

Suggested Citation

Schooner, Steven L. and Greenspahn, Daniel S., Too Dependent on Contractors? Minimum Standards for Responsible Governance (Summer 2008). Journal of Contract Management, Vol. 8, p. 9-25, 2008; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 435; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 435. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1263358

Steven L. Schooner (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-3037 (Phone)
202-994-5614 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/Faculty/profile.aspx?id=1740%20

Daniel S. Greenspahn

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

3801 Connecticut Avenue NW #316
Washington, DC 20008
United States
917-496-0632 (Phone)

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