Defense Procurement and Public Utility Regulation.

by George R. Hall

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As a contribution to the development of a theory of defense procurement regulation, this paper examines the regulatory task faced by defense officials and contrasts this with the task faced by public utility regulators. The examination has two purposes. The first is to clarify the nature of defense procurement regulations. The second is to analyze a suggestion sometimes made for improving defense procurement: to apply the public utility concept to the manufacturer of major weapon systems. The analysis reveals that public utility regulation holds little promise for solving procurement problems. Instead of seeking procurement system improvements through increased regulation, it is preferable to seek more opportunities to obtain market-generated information and to avoid the complex procedure of attempting to design new methods of regulation. 21 pp.

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