There is no question that the Defense Department issues more contracts to suppliers than any other branch of the government. So with all the pressures on spending in Washington lately, all agencies are reviewing how they might save more money and be more efficient going forward. When you look at trends over teh last 10 years you can see the number of Fixed Price contracts in the Defense Department grew from about $158 Billion in 2003 to about $250 Billion in 2013. Cost Reimbursement contracts grew over the same period so some of this increase can be explained by the department just increasing the spending (due in main to the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan). In the fall of 2009 the President encouraged agencies to use more Fixed Price contracts as a way to control spending. The effectiveness of the President's request is debatable. But since then, the defense budget has come under extreme scrutiny and we have wound down one war and are in the process of winding down the efforts in Afghanistan. Last week the Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, Richard Ginman, issued a memo calling for a class deviation and Prohibition on the use of Cost-Type contracts for production of major defense acquisition programs. This memo affects any contracts that are entered into on October 1, 2014 or after.
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