Increasing competitive actions: a focus on technical data rights associated with non-commercial hardware items
Liedke, Eric J.
Simonis, Jeffrey D.
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This project reviewed the key laws and the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) current policies pertaining to competition and the acquisition of technical data rights, as it applies to non-commercial hardware items. Competition data from the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command FY12 Annual Competition Report (ACC-WRN report), along with several sole source justifications and approvals (J&As) were then reviewed to determine if the government’s lack of technical data rights impacted the buying command’s ability to competitively acquire non-commercial hardware items. After reviewing the top ten dollar value, non-competed contract actions awarded by the Army Contracting Command - Warren (ACC-WRN) site in fiscal year 2012 (FY12), it was determined that 70 percent cited lack of technical data rights as a key reason for not being able to compete those contracts. The total dollar value for all related FY 12 sole source contracts at TACOM was $1.21 billion (bn). The total dollar value for the top ten sole source contracts that were looked at was $765 million, which is 63 percent of the total $1.21bn awarded. The high percentages of 70 percent and 63 percent show that a lack of technical data is a barrier to competition for TACOM and contributed to a high percentage of the total non-competed actions at the ACC-WRN site in FY12. In the three J&As that did not list a lack of technical data as a key reason for awarding a sole source contract, an unusual and compelling urgency was cited as the authority for contracting without providing for full and open competition. Based on this project’s findings, several recommendations were made to improve the state of competition within the DOD. Some of the recommendations include offering incentives to contractor and government personnel, creating commodity specific competition goals, and analyzing Business case analyses (BCAs) associated with major defense programs to assess the thoroughness, accuracy, and uniformity of the information provided.
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