Analysis of General Accounting Office, Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, and Federal Court of Claims decisions on disputes involving performance specifications
Murphy-Sweet, Philip A.
Yoder, E. Cory
Tudor, Ron B.
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This thesis analyzed rulings and court cases from the General Accounting Office, Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and Federal Court of Claims with respect to contract protests and disputes involving Performance Specifications. Performance Specifications generally leave the contractor open to decide the best means to accomplish the work of a contract and deliver the product called for in the contract. As compared with Design Specifications, which tell the contractor exactly the processes and materials that must be used to accomplish the task, Performance Specifications only specify the final product to be delivered and the parameters it will fulfill or operate within, and thus leave the contractor open to decide the best processes and procedures to accomplish the task. The use of Performance Specifications in the Defense acquisition process has been mandated from the Secretary of Defense since 1994. The intent in using Performance Specifications was to provide incentive to the contractor to become innovative and resourceful in performing the contract and hopefully, result in cost avoidances and savings to the Federal Government. This thesis will examine protests and disputes from the above sources to evaluate the use of Performance Specifications to date and compile any patterns of success or failure that can then be passed on to today's acquisition workforce.
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