Federal Contract Bundling

A Framework for Making and Justifying Decisions for Purchased Services

by Laura H. Baldwin, Frank Camm, Nancy Young Moore


Free Electronic Option

Note: Many electronic documents posted prior to 2003 are available as chapter PDFs or HTML files linked from the Contents.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback148 pages $15.00 $12.00 20% Web Discount

An organization bundles the services that it purchases when it consolidates activities previously provided by separate sources and purchases the services through a single contract from a single provider. The Department of Defense is giving increasing attention to this practice because commercial firms report that bundling offers the potential for significant performance and cost benefits. However, the goals of the federal government differ from those of commercial firms in that federal regulations commit the Air Force and other federal organizations to place a fair proportion of purchases and contracts with small business enterprises and to maintain free and open competition among prospective providers of services to the federal government. Small businesses typically do not have the scale of operation or scope of expertise to provide bundles of services as prime contractors. The authors of this report discuss recent legislation designed to protect small businesses by ensuring that bundling occurs only when it is likely to generate measurably substantial increases in performance or reductions in cost to the federal buyer. After reviewing potential sources of such benefits, the authors propose a methodology that buying agencies could use to gather information on when and how to bundle the services they buy and justify those decisions in a way that satisfies the legislative requirements.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables

    Table PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Acronyms PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    Why Is the Air Force Interested in Bundling Services into Larger Contracts? PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Relevant Legislation and Skills PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Findings PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Potential Benefits and Risks Associated with Bundled Service Contracts PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Bundling Methodology for Recontracting Activities PDF

  • Chapter Seven

    Conclusions PDF

  • Appendix A

    General Background on Developing and Using PDF

  • Appendix B

    Examples of Strategic Supply-Base Reduction PDF

  • Appendix C

    Industry Consolidation Trends PDF

  • Appendix D

    SBA Final Rule – a Derived Decision Tree for Bundling PDF

  • Appendix E

    Assigning Monetory Values to Performance Improvements PDF

  • References PDF

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND’s Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.