CCIA: Contract Bundling Impediment to Full and Open Competition

BY CCIA Staff
July 1, 2002

Washington, DC – The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) describing the potential competitive barriers created by contract bundling when used for Federal procurement. CCIA submitted its views in response to President Bush’s call for comments from affected industries and individuals describing how contract bundling limits “fair and open” competition.

In the comments, CCIA makes several recommendations including: making bundled contracts easier to protest; providing longer times to respond to requests for bundled contracts; giving OMB the authority to resolve disagreements on bundled contracts; and requiring more stringent standards for an agency to request the use of bundling. Additionally, CCIA recommends that the presumption of validity for the use of bundling move away from the affected agency and to those challenging its use.

CCIA recognizes the hard work of several Senators and Members of Congress, and heartily endorses Senator John Kerry’s bipartisan “Small Business Federal Contractor Safeguard Act” and Representative Nydia Velázquez’ bipartisan “Small Business Opportunity Act.” Both pieces of legislation will go far in ensuring greater access to the government procurement system, and better, more cost-effective solutions to acquiring goods and services for the Federal Government. While not just a small business issue, CCIA recognizes that small businesses are disproportionately affected by bundling, and locked out of contracts where they could otherwise provide cost-effective solutions.

“Too many times the Federal Government will decide that it wants to procure from a particular vendor and create a bid process that is tilted against anyone but the one vendor who can provide the ‘mega-contract,’” Said Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA. “This does not achieve the goals of full, fair and open competition that is required from our laws. Moreover, this causes the taxpayers to pay more for what the government wants to do. This is not the way our resources should be used.”

The comments can be found at ../..//papers/contract_bundling.pdf

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