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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Panel: Performance-based contracting slow to get traction

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A draft report containing a congressionally chartered panel's recommendations on acquisition reform will be publicly available within a few weeks, the chairwoman of the committee said Monday.

One widely anticipated portion will deal with performance-based contracting, an acquisition technique mandated by the Office of Management and Budget under which government officials outline the results they need on a particular project and develop measures to gauge contractors' success at meeting those objectives. The measures and incentives for meeting them in theory spur good outcomes. But in practice, that is not always the case.

While the idea of performance-based contracting and the techniques for using it are not new, "the job just isn't getting done the way we expected it to," said Marcia Madsen, chairwoman of the Services Acquisition Reform Act Advisory Committee, speaking on a panel at the annual Executive Leadership Conference, hosted by the American Council for Technology and the Industry Advisory Council. Government Executive is a co-sponsor of the event.

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