Air Force Faces Puzzling Decline in Competition for Services
September 30, 2015
Increasing competition for defense contracts has been a continuing effort for Department of Defense (DoD) policymakers under the recent series of “Better Buying Power” acquisition reform initiatives. In prior work on competition trends within DoD, CSIS noted that the rate of effective competition for DoD contracts has remained near 50 percent in every year since 2008. Within those trends, however, there are significant differences in levels of competition both between the major DoD components and between what is being contracted for. Most notably, despite the Air Force being at the forefront of improving tradecraft in services acquisition, there has been a significant decline in effective competition for services contracts within the Air Force since 2011.
About one-third of the total decline is explainable due to shifts in the Air Force services contracting portfolio and data categorization changes, but CSIS assesses that the remaining two-thirds of the decline represents a real decrease in effective competition. Click the link below to see analysis of the specific sources of decline in competition for Air Force services contracts.