With the increased expenditures in
In my opinion, the issue of government contracting is a lucrative operation yet a very complex exercise that brings nightmares for private businesses. For one it is very clear that contractors must meet regulations and requirements before a private enterprise is accepted and registered as a government contractor. Although, the
Federal Acquisition Regulations
The federal acquisition federation refers to set of rules and regulations that stipulate the practice of purchasing. The regulations and requirements are enacted to provide a framework for ensuring that government purchasing activities are accountable and impartial and that they meet the intended purposes. In this regard, it is notable that government contracting provides one of the business opportunities not only for large and experienced corporations, but also for small business units. One of the areas which have received a lot of attention in recent years is the defense contracting regulations. The concerns are fuelled by the fact that the department of defense is one of the largest consumers of commodities and services in the
Procurement for the department of defense
To my understanding, the federal acquisition regulations is the primary source of all the conditions and requirements that stipulate government contracting including supplying the department of defense. The first difference between commercial contracting and government contracting for the department of defense is that the department of defense uses authorized personnel known as the contracting officers who act as agents between the government and the contracting organizations. There are different types of contracting officers starting with the procurement contracting officers who initiate the process and administrative contracting officers who supervise the contract. It is notable that under the regulations of the DFARs, the department of defense maintains the right to revise the contract details although the contractor retains his entitlement to make appropriate adjustments to meet the changes (David, 2007) In addition, the DOD performs an extensive audit, monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the contractor conforms to the regulations. More importantly, the DOD contracts are highly interconnected in that they may serve different purposes and as such the contractor may have to cooperate with other programs and institutions. Lastly, the DOD retains its right to recall or terminate the entire contract or part of based on its assessment of your compliance to the set regulations and conditions or for reasons born within the government. Other conditions given for government regulations and conditions for the DOD include the spirit of the regulations. The regulations are based on the need to get the best commodities or services at the most affordable price. This brings in the concept of competitiveness. However, the DOD regulations on procurement emphasizes on how the contractor is responsible for the task. This is based on the ability to mobilize adequate financial resources, deliver the agreement and ensure adherence to business principles and ethics.
Challenges in the enforcement of the FAR
The government ability to enforce the FAR has come under heavy criticism in recent years. Although there are clear procedures on the regulatory framework, there is evidence that the FAR regulations have been violated to a greater extending. In my view, these violations are not only rampant within the united sates, but also in foreign countries where the
Government procurement fraud
In my opinion, one of the greatest challenges for the enforcement of the FAR is the complexity of the government procurement fraud. It is clear that the federal government spends a substantial percentage of the tax payer’s money to finance contracts within the country and in foreign lands where the
Low competition in government acquisition methods
One of the greatest challenges for the
It is also notable that several government contracts are not competitive by nature. For instance some categories are generally non-competitive characterized by the presence of a single supplier who delivers the commodities or the services. The
Government contract fraud
Fraud in government contracting can occur in numerous stages during the contracting process. Some of the stages where fraud occurs include violation of antitrust laws, kickbacks, pricing and inflated subcontracting. There have been claims that some contractors use falsified or altered data or fail to make appropriate adjustments on supporting data leading to fraudulent practices. There have also been concerns about the failure by contractors like the KBR in
Government initiative to curb procurement fraud
The government has come up with several initiatives to enhance the detection and prevention of government procurement fraud.
The national procurement fraud task force
The department of justice came up with this task force within the criminal division. The mandate of the task force is to detect and apprehend violators of the government contracting procedures. The taskforce emphasizes on the pricing of contracts, documentation and fictitious claims among other aspects of procurement fraud.
Strengthening of Inspector general and SIGIR
There are efforts to combat fraud in government procurement at the department of defense. This has led to enactment of several laws to prohibit malpractices in the defense contracting. Some of the laws enacted include the establishment of the Special General Inspector for Iraq (SIGIR) to manage the construction kitty for
Defense contract audit agency
This agency works in several military units to aid in auditing of contracts. The agency is mandated to carry out audits on defense contracts as well as other government agencies. In addition, the agency is mandated to carry out investigations pertaining to contracting (Darrell, 2005).
Other laws enacted to prevent procurement fraud
The procurement integrity act
The government implemented specific policies for re-employment of former state consultants to help in liaison functions. In this regard, the government enacted laws that enhance compliance to the law with the help of the former consultants.
False claims act
This law was enacted to provide punishment to defense contractors who make false claims to fraud the government. The law encouraged the use of private investigators to promote evidence gathering and apprehension of violators of the law. The false claims law also encourages whistleblowers to launch their evidence and report crimes pertaining to government contracting.
Due to the surge in public expenditure on government contracts, there is need for the government to put in place measures that streamline government spending in all the projects. In addition, there is need for the establishment of appropriate laws that help in the prevention and apprehension of violators of the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Moreover, it is vital for the government to enhance the protection of key witnesses and whistle blowers especially within the department of defense. On the other hand, the justice department needs to work closer with the professional procurement groups and other government agencies to reinforce the relevant laws and regulations and establish effective government procurement standards. Of particular significance, is the need to enhance accountability on the use of public funds in government contracting especially in foreign countries. In this regard, the role of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) must be enhanced to promote accountability in the use of taxpayer’s money.