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Government Contracting
Promises and Perils



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ISBN 9781420085655
Published April 27, 2010 by Routledge
312 Pages

 
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Book Description

A guidebook through the minefield of government contracting and procurement, Government Contracting: Promises and Perils describes the dangerous practices commonly applied in the development and management of government contracts and provides advice for avoiding the sort of errors that might compromise their ability to protect the public interest. It includes strategies for increasing profits for government contractors, rather than incurring burdensome costs, through compliance with government mandated subcontracting and financial management systems.

Drawing from his indepth investigation of government agencies across the country, the author examines present-day scenarios that regularly lead public servants and government committees to manage contracts with tools that are less than optimal and to select contractors that may not be the best qualified. He then delineates practical processes, contracting documents, and contract management tools to mitigate detrimental outcomes and alternative approaches to supplant the imperfect methodologies.

The author includes a CD-ROM with the book that provides a number of practical tools that you can apply as well as examples of contracts and templates that are the best he discovered during his research. The book also outlines an approach for performing advance contract planning, conducting contract negotiations, and administering contracts useful when planning for the management of the contracting process throughout the contracting cycle, negotiating a contract that protects the interest of all contracting parties, and ensuring successful contractor performance.

The book includes a "Government Procurement Corruption Wall of Shame" that illustrates the myriad perils and stumbling blocks such as conflicts of interest, duplicity, favoritism, incompetence, kickbacks, and protests that government workers fall prey to.. Filled with best practices that protect you from nefarious, amateurish, and criminal mistakes that frequently lead to difficulties with harsh consequences, the book does not end its coverage with discussions of corruption, mismanagement, and ineptitude, but provides practical processes and strategies to diminish the negative impacts from these government contracting perils.

Table of Contents

Big Picture — Big Issues
The Big Picture: International Implications of Procurement Corruption
The Scourge of Procurement Corruption
Corruption Avoidance
Conclusion
Notes
Processes and Issues in Contracting
The Contracting Cycle: Overview of the Contracting Process
Consequences of Failed Contract Planning
Program Success through Effective Contract Planning
Robust Contract Planning’s Contribution to Efficiency and Ethics
Conclusion
Notes
Ethics in Contracting
Global Need for Ethical Government Contracting
Pummeled by Corruption: Consequences for Government and Contractors
Optimal Government Service and Increased Contractor Profit
Essential Features for Ethical Contracting Programs
Conclusion
Notes
Sole Source or Competition?
Appeal of Competitive Contracting
Establishing a Favorable Environment for Competitive Procurement
Failed Competition Fosters Corruption and Diminishes Budgets
Multiple Benefits of Full and Open Competition
Conclusion
Notes
Social Objectives through Government Contracting
Social Contracting Fundamentals
Failed Social Contracting Creates Exposure to Corruption
Establishing an Effective Social Contracting Program
Government Goal Achievement and Improved Contractor Profitability through Successful Social Contracting
Conclusion
Notes
Solicitations and Pre-Proposal Communications
Solicitation Fundamentals
Failed Management of Pre-Proposal Communications and Protest Vulnerability
Content of the Best Practices RFP
Superior Contractor Selection and Protest Avoidance with Best Practices RFP
Errant Contractor Selection and Corruption Exposure with Deficient RFP
Promises of Well-Managed Pre-Proposal Communications
Protest and Fraud Avoidance through Well-Managed Pre-Proposal Communications
Conclusion
Notes
Proposal Evaluation
Process for Selecting the Best Contractor
Optimizing Contractor Selection with Weighted Proposal Evaluation Criteria
Effective Reaction to Protests from Aggrieved Contractors
Overcoming the Perils of a Deficient Proposal Evaluation Process
Perils of Selecting a Marginal Contractor
Rewards of Selecting the Superior Contractor
Conclusion
Notes
Contract Administration
Contract Administration Fundamentals
Invoice Analysis for Avoiding Overpayments
A Process for Forecasting Contract Cost Overruns
Maintaining Program Integrity by Effectively Managing Contract Modifications
Ensuring Timely Milestone Completions and Deliverables
Energizing Underperforming Contractors
Threat to Program Success from Flawed Contract Administration
Administering Contracts to Promote Program Success
Improved Profit, Quality, and Timeliness for Government Contractors
Conclusion
Notes
Contracting During Emergencies
Fundamentals of Emergency Contracting
Private-Sector Contributions to Emergency Response
Improved Delivery and Quality while Controlling Emergency Contract Costs
Need to Establish Response Mechanism in Advance of International Emergencies
Obtaining Private-Sector Buy-In to International Emergency Response Mechanism
Failed Emergency Response and Corruption Exposure from Deficient Planning
Protecting Lives and Property during Emergency Response
Conclusion
Notes
Contract Completion and Audit
Fundamentals of Contract Completion
Contractor Performance Evaluations
Fundamentals of Contract Auditing
Deficient Performance Evaluations and Audits Perpetuate Failure
Utility of Effective Contractor Performance Evaluation
Contributions of Effective Contract Auditing
Benefits of Effective Records Retention, Performance Evaluation, and Contract Auditing
Promises and Perils Following Completion of Contractor’s Responsibilities
Conclusion
Notes
Appendix: Glossary of Terms

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Featured Author Profiles

Author - William Sims Curry
Author

William Sims Curry

President, WSC Consulting
Chico, California, United States

Learn more about William Sims Curry »

Reviews

Mr. Curry takes on the ethical and social issues involved in Government contracting in a persuasive and reader friendly manner. No wasted discussions on philosophical issues but direct and meaningful methods of improving a broken system. Suggested reading not only for contracting personnel but anyone involved in government policy making.
—Lee Schuh, Contracting consultant and instructor

Government Contracting: Promises and Perils by William Sims Curry is a good read for government and industry contracting, acquisition and program management professionals. Mr. Curry’s book integrates an emphasis on strong acquisition planning up-front in the acquisition life cycle. Those of us with significant experience and leadership in major acquisition programs know that effective acquisition planning normally results in a clean and effective contract award. Effective acquisition planning leads toward more successful achievement of mission objectives within cost, schedule and scope parameters in a post –award contract management environment. 
—John Dobriansky, CPCM, NCMA Fellow, National Contract Management Assoc.

Seldom does a book come along that has true value to the active practitioner in any field. Contracting is fundamental to business of any type and doing so well is extremely important to business success. This book and supplemental material gives any contracting professional a plethora of sound advice and real tools with which to design, develop and implement contracts in a professional and ethical manner. A must for any contract professional’s desk.
—Greg Sanger, PhD, SpectraSensors

Provides cautionary insights into the government procurement processes. A solid treatment of government contracting techniques. Contemporary and in tune with contracting events of the day. 
—Dr. Mike Criss, CPCM. 29-year member of the National Contract Management Association; member of the Executive Advisory Council and Ethics and Standards Committee.

This book fills an important gap in teaching contracting in public administration graduate programs. Managers, contractors, and students of this dynamic field will find in this volume a wealth of practical techniques and policy ideas for sound and ethical contracting.
—M. Ernita Joaquin, University of Nevada, Las Vegas