DOD CONTRACT FILES: PAPER VERSUS DIGITAL
Brinkley, Douglas E.
Yoder, Elliott C.
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Some government agencies have moved to electronic contract files, while others retain paper-based contract files. Policy promoting electronic contract files exists; however, regulation has not been enacted to mandate its use. The primary research objective is to determine why agencies are hesitant to adopt paperless contract files. The secondary research objectives are to determine what can be learned about contract files from various contracting activities and whether the Department of Defense (DoD) plans to provide guidance for contract files going forward. Data were collected from the DoD, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP), the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, and a civilian agency via survey. The data and findings indicate that agencies that have adopted electronic contract files have realized efficiencies. The data and findings also indicate that agencies that retain paper contract files have concerns regarding conversion to electronic contract files. The investigator finds that the issues uncovered regarding conversion to electronic contract files requires resolution to enable all agencies to move to electronic contract files successfully. Further research is recommended to resolve the issues identified and allow DPAP to mandate the use of electronic contract files.
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