Amongst the fray of the GSA scandal, the Secret Service scandal, and the election-year cycle, there is a lot else that is still going on. HR4310 for FY 2013 is titled the National Defense Authorization Act. 70+ pages:
To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for military activities of the Department of Defense, to prescribe military personnel strengths for fiscal year 2013, and for other purposes.
The “other purposes” is what becomes a little troublesome when competition is stymied. According to the bill, DOD officials want to give access to government R&D work for up to 5 years without having to compete – if you are a “Federally Funded Research and Development Center” and as long as there are certain provisions related to the conclusion of the R&D.
It seems to me that the language is a little vague and that non-competition agreements like these can really raise fraud, waste and abuse (see line 1 of this entry) of taxpayer money. Also, we are talking about multi-year contracts, not multiple year contracts.
I know, you just read that last line twice. Multi-year agreements/contracts are for multiple years (a 5-year agreement). Multiple-year agreements/contracts are for a single year with multiple options available (1-year plus 4 option years). I know, a small difference, but still significant when you consider that the DOD would have the authority to lock up R&D funds for multi-year awards without having to offer the contract for competition.
At the end of a year, if the R&D is not going so well – then what?