Sample Management Creative Writing Paper on Contracting and the FAR

Contracting and the FAR

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is a key component when it comes to government procurement. Its primary objective is to set policies and procedures that must be followed t in any procurement process (Manuel et al., 2012). Before the FAR was put in place, the public did not have the knowledge about government procurement processes resulting in mass irregularities. As such, government officials paid millions of dollars for the procurement of products and services available at relatively low prices. The inception of the FAR shifted focus to ensuring the government’s purchase of goods and services at fair and reasonable prices. The idea of FAR was first presented to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). The OFFP is headed by an administrator who is appointed by the President and has two other key players including the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of General Services. Since the role of OFFP is to provide overall direction in government procurement procedures and promoting effectiveness in acquisition processes, it did not hesitate to pass and offer support to the FAR.

Upon enforcement of the FAR, the inability to abide by the rules and procedures stipulated in the regulation restricted any individual or agency from conducting business involving procurement with government agencies (Manuel et al., 2012). Of course, funds spent by the federal government in various projects and programs are obtained from the public through taxation. Therefore, it is important for the public to know how the money is spent. Reports indicate that before the enactment of FAR, individual contractors could set high prices that benefitted both the contractors and government officials involved in procurement. The situation is different today with such undertakings being hardly witnessed. In fact, the public has knowledge and information on every procurement process in which the government is involved. This implies that the FAR overall offers adequate protection of the collective buying power of the American people.

Over the years, there have been several scandals related to government procurement a perfect example being the Navy’s ship supply network scandal that happened towards the end of 2013. It was alleged that a company known as Inchape Shipping Services, with the help of subcontractors, sold ships to the Navy at ridiculous prices. After investigations, the company was suspended from transacting business with federal government agencies. The scandal was an embarrassment to the federal government, especially the Navy, which faced numerous criminal investigations at the time. Investigation revealed that the owner of Inchape Shipping Services conspired to bribe government officials with cash and trips to secure contracts (Ivory, 2013). There are several other scandals involving officials in Federal departments in recent times. In fact, there is a growing concern that abuse, fraud, and waste have increased rapidly in federal department operations and federally-funded programs. This means that the federal government, especially the executive branch, is doing little to address such scandals. Although the executive has the power to launch unilateral action by filing lawsuits against officials involved in procurement scandals, the pace at which the lawsuits are filed is surprising. Without the involvement of the legislature and judiciary, the executive branch is not the proper branch to effectuate change aimed at providing checks and balances for the purchase of goods and services for the United States government.

References

Ivory, C. D. (2013, November 29). Scandal Widens Over Contracts for Navy Work. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/30/us/scandal-widens-over-contracts-for-navy-work.html

Manuel, K., Halchin, L. E., Lunder, E. K., & Christensen, M. D. (2012, November). The Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR): Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42826.pdf