Few countries have moved as aggressively ? and as successfully ? as the United Kingdom in transforming the provision of public services. The private delivery of federaland local public services in the United Kingdom exceeds $150 billion, up from $60 billion in 1995.
Transparency is essential to building credibility when dealing with public funds and the public trust, and numerous proposals now before Congress seek to enhance transparency in government contracting. Their essentialgoal is laudable even though some of these proposals are driven bya misperception that fraud is rampant in federal contracting ? aperception even the special inspector general for Iraq reconstructionhas repeatedly challenged.
Some in Congress believe the proportion of federal contracts that are competitivelyawarded has dropped precipitously even though competition levels are at about the same proportion today as they were 10 years ago.
Just as in every campaign that has preceded it, the issue ofjobs has been at center stage throughout the 2008 presidentialcampaign. Candidates talk about creating jobs, buildingsustainable domestic industries and so forth. Ironically, onetopic that never comes up in those discussions is one of thenation's most significant sources of high-quality, well-compensatedemployment: government contracting.
The question of which functions can or should be performed by federal contractors has been the focus of increasing debate, including two congressional hearings held in early March. The issues involved are complex but timely.
One of the most disturbing trends in Washington has been the contentious, overly partisan environment in which too many congressional hearings seem more focused onassessing blame than finding solutions.
Let's be clear. Earmarking raises some important and legitimate questions. Howmuch transparency is there? How much should there be?
The October report from the Special Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations contains a set of recommendations that will require collaboration from the Army, DOD and Congress.
Buylines | Commentary: War profiteering legislation is not needed.
The Intelligence Science Board published a report in late 2006 warning that the intelligence community is losing rather than gaining connectivity to the technologycommunity.