Cover: Factors Affecting the Use of Competition in Weapon System Acquisition

Factors Affecting the Use of Competition in Weapon System Acquisition

Published 1981

by Kathleen Archibald, Alvin J. Harman, M. Hesse, John R. Hiller, Giles K. Smith

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Examines methods for improving the effectiveness of competition in the acquisition of major weapon systems. Use of competition at the concept design stage is known to be inexpensive relative to benefits. However, competition is rare during procurement when the expense is immediate and any savings are delayed. Existing analysis provides no means for evaluating competitive reprocurement. Savings on competitively reprocured electronic items have been substantial but the factors explaining this are unknown. The best point in production at which to introduce a second source cannot now be determined. Also unclear is whether competitive reprocurement pays off for complex systems. Because price-competitive reprocurement strategies are one of the simplest and most quantifiable uses of competition, this study recommends improved data collection on current competitive acquisition, and further theoretical study of the function of competition in such acquisition.

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