U.S. Department of Defense Services Contract Spending and the Supporting Industrial Base, 2000-2011
May 24, 2012
Spending by the Department of Defense (DoD) on services contracts, which range from clerical and administrative work to vehicle maintenance to research and development (R&D), has been largely neglected by past studies of DoD spending trends. Yet DoD spending on services contract actions amounted to just under $200 billion in 2011, more than 50 percent of total DoD contract spending and nearly a third of the entire DoD budget. Both the executive branch and Congress have implemented policies to improve acquisitions of services, but the impacts of their efforts remain uncertain without a clear, concise analysis of past spending. And the then Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Ashton Carter, has stated that: “Most of our services acquires, unlike weapons-system acquires, are amateurs… I intend to help them get better at it” (Speech at the Heritage Foundation, April 20, 2011).
The goal of this project is to provide policymakers with an in-depth analysis of trends in DoD spending on services contract actions and the companies that provided them from 1990 to 2011. Using the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) and other sources, we will present data on overall DoD services contract spending and on specific service areas. We will then analyze the data by degree of competition, contract vehicle type, DoD component, contractor identity, etc., and by DoD Component (Army, Navy, Air Force and “Other”). A set of recommendations for policymakers will then be developed and vetted with a panel of government, industry and academia experts.