Agency Snapshot: Department of Justice
In Fiscal Year 2010, the Department of Justice spent $6.4 billion on contracting, which is $1.2 billion less than the $7.6 billion spent in Fiscal Year 2009. Like other agencies, Justice is working to fulfill the four key initiatives below to ensure that they spend money wisely and eliminate waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars.
According to Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) data, spending on contracts grew tremendously government-wide over the past decade, averaging 12 percent annually from FY 2000 to FY 2008. Recognizing this growth was unsustainable, the President directed agencies to save $40 billion annually by FY 2011. Responding to the President’s mandate, agencies have taken immediate actions to halt the growth in spending on contracts by applying fiscally responsible acquisition practices. Agencies have identified $19 billion in savings from contracting for FY 2010, and, as a whole, the government remains on track to achieve this savings.
Agencies are making concerted efforts to reduce the money spent through high-risk contracts – contracts that are not fixed price or are awarded without receiving more than one bid – so that the government faces no greater financial risk than necessary in its contracting. There are two dimensions of contracting risk. First, there is the risk of overspending if agencies contract without the benefit of competition. Second, there is risk of wasteful spending when agencies pay for expenses as incurred rather than setting a fixed price upfront for the delivery of a completed product or service. President Obama has directed agencies to reduce risk on both of these dimensions in order to ensure that agencies get the best value for each taxpayer dollar.
The government needs talented and trained individuals who can plan, manage and oversee acquisitions to provide the government with the goods and services it needs at the best value to taxpayers. The inflation-adjusted dollar value of contracting has increased much faster than the number of contract specialists between FY 2000 and FY 2008. As a result, the acquisition workforce spends less time on critical steps in the acquisition process such as planning, requirements development, market research, competition, and contract administration – increasing the chances of cost overruns, delays, and other poor outcomes. The Administration is working to ensure both the right acquisition workforce size and appropriate ongoing training for personnel so that the government has the necessary workforce to manage the government’s acquisitions efficiently.
The Department of Justice has taken a proactive role in effecting the movement to government-wide strategic sourcing by actively participating in all of the current Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiatives for Domestic Delivery Services, Office Supplies, Software, and Wireless Telecommunication Services.