So, you can’t really go anywhere without seeing some sort of darkened website or piece of a website today related to the SOPA and PIPA acts working there way through Congress. The web is mad – and apparently they are winning the battle as the news stories talk of Congressmen and women backing down from support of the legislation. The reason I even bring this up is that it is highly correlated to the government contracting sector in what the adverse effects of regulation can be.
I reminisce on $200 toilet seats and $150 hammers when I talk about “government waste,” but it is really more than that. I have seen government contracting from both sides. As an auditor, it was always my job to try to find the taxpayers some money (on average at the time it was around $4 for every $1 of my salary that we were getting back). I remember, though, that there were a lot of costs that were “allowable” and “reimbursable” to a contractor for things that I thought the contractor should be on the hook for – employee morale should be solely a company’s responsibility in my mind and part of a good corporate culture.
On the other side I saw how regulation created large amounts of paperwork and forms for contractors to complete. I saw that government workers become government contractors at an extremely high rate. Why could that be? There is money in it, plain and simple.
But back to the regulation… I am sure that not many people will go to read SOPA and PIPA (and I admit I haven’t read through it all), but I feel that I am part of a new renaissance that doesn’t just WANT free and open knowledge and access to everything, but actually expects it. The numerous regulations in place surrounding contracting – in my humble opinion – actually costs the government more money. It would stand to reason that the free and open access to knowledge, entertainment, and “everything else on the Internet” would stand to become more expensive if there is [more] regulation surrounding it.
I would be interested to hear thoughts on how you feel contracting regulation stifles government contracting or innovation.