DOD Acquisitions: Contracting for Better Outcomes

GAO-06-800T Published: Sep 07, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 07, 2006.
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The Department of Defense's (DOD) spending on goods and services has grown significantly since fiscal year 2000 to well over $250 billion annually. Prudence with taxpayer funds, widening deficits, and growing long-range fiscal challenges demand that DOD maximize its return on investment, while providing warfighters with the needed capabilities at the best value for the taxpayer. DOD needs to ensure that its funds are spent wisely, and that it is buying the right things, the right way. In this testimony, GAO discusses (1) recent trends in DOD contracting activity and the environment in which this activity takes place, and (2) practices which undermine its ability to establish sound business arrangements, particularly those involving the selection and oversight of DOD's contractors and incentivizing their performance. This statement is based on work GAO has completed over the past 6 years covering a range of DOD acquisition and contracting issues. Some of these issues are long-standing. GAO has identified DOD contract management as a high-risk area for more than decade. With awards to contractors large and growing, DOD will continue to be vulnerable to contracting fraud, waste or misuse of taxpayer dollars, and abuse.

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