Complex Contracting draws on core social science concepts to provide wide-ranging practical advice on how best to manage complex acquisitions. Using a strong analytical framework, the authors assess contract management practices, suggesting strategies for improvement and ways to avoid the pitfalls of managing contracts for large and sophisticated projects. An in-depth analysis of the US Coast Guard's Deepwater program is included to illustrate ways to respond to real-world contracting challenges. This high-profile and controversial case consisted of a projected 25-year, $24 billion contract through which the US Coast Guard would buy a system of new boats, aircraft, communications, and control architecture to replace its aging fleet. The authors explore the reasons why this program, launched with such promise, turned out so poorly, and apply the lessons learned to similarly complex contracting scenarios. This engaging and accessible book has broad applicability and will appeal to policymakers, practitioners, scholars and students.
Trevor L. Brown is Associate Professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. Matthew Potoski is Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. David M. Van Slyke is Professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Foreword Stan Soloway; 1. Introduction: the promise and perils of government contracting; 2. Managing complex contracting in theory and practice; 3. The Coast Guard's Deepwater program; 4. Rules in complex contracts; 5. Performance incentives in complex contracts; 6. Complex contracting's promise and pitfalls: win-win and lose-lose; 7. Management strategies for complex contracts; References; Index.