Break It Up!
Will Congress finally take a swing at contract bundling?
As 2001 wound down, the House and Senate wrestled with a provision to pin down the Defense Department on the issue of contract bundling. The Senate version of the fiscal 2002 Pentagon authorization bill would require a number of steps before contracts are combined in a package larger than $5 million.
The government's practice of bundling contracts has irked entrepreneurs for years, and the number of contract consolidations has shot up as the size of procurement offices has dwindled, leaving fewer acquisition officials to handle more contracts. Current law requires the Defense Department to give small businesses 23 percent of all prime contracts. But the figure in fiscal 2000 was 22.3 percent, down from 25.5 percent in fiscal 1996.
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