There are three methods the government uses to procure goods and services. The first one is open and advertised bidding, second one the use of proposals and negotiation, and the third one is sole source. The only criteria the government looking at is whatever is procured has to the highest quality as much as possible and should be cost effective or the lowest cost possible (Bartle & LaCourse, amd Korosec 2003). The government uses competitive/advertised bidding when it is certain about the exact specification of what it wants and would want contractors to bid on what it exactly wants (Qaio & Cumings 2003).
This kind of contract is straightforward where the one who won the bid would get the contract agreeing that it would meet every specification (Lancing & Burkard 1991 p. 358) The competitive proposals/negotiating type of contract is there to make up for the government’s lack of knowing exactly what is involved, although it knows what it wants, but detailed specifications are lacking. The sole source-contracting method is used when the government knows who the best contractor is and would contact this contractor and makes the offer.
In a situation like this it is the contracting officers responsibility to pick the best contractor and after doing so their choice need the approval of the oversight officers, or a committee, or a governmental agency, whichever is applicable.. The recent government practice had resulted in blaming the government for eschewing away from the benefits of competitive bidding that could always bring the cost down. The reason for the blame was the rise recorded in noncompetitive bid had risen from $7.
5 billion in 2000 to $145 billion in 2004, tallied as 113% increase. This particular increase is the result of the Iraq war the rebuilding effort and recovery from Hurricane Katrina. The government can justify what it is doing because the federal acquisition law allows exemptions from favoring competitive bidding when the circumstance allows it in a time of emergency or when the service or product provider is the only source (Dee 2006).