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Complex Contracting: Government Purchasing in the Wake of the US Coast Guard's Deepwater Program

Trevor L. Brown

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ISBN 10: 1107038626 / ISBN 13: 9781107038622
Published by Cambridge University Press
New Condition: New Hardcover
From THE SAINT BOOKSTORE (Southport, United Kingdom)

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Title: Complex Contracting: Government Purchasing ...

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition: New

About this title


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.


'In this book, the authors bring a fresh, yet sophisticated analytical approach to the challenges that the government faces when entering into high-value, complex contracts. They explore the difficult issues without bias, neither bashing nor coddling either the government or the contracting community. Senior procurement executives and program managers, from defense and civilian agencies, from the public and the private sector, and from the US and other countries, will all benefit by studying and reflecting on the analysis and advice set out in this thoughtful book.' Daniel I. Gordon, Associate Dean for Government Procurement Law, George Washington University Law School and President Obama's Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy (2009–2011)

'Our experience with public sector contracting for complex products and services suggests that we are still in the steep portion of the learning curve on how to do this well. Complex Contracting makes major contributions in this regard, both through providing an accessible conceptual framework for approaching challenging contract situations, as well as in illustrating how key principles in contracting operate in practice and over time as the respective parties work to achieve desired outcomes. The book is written brilliantly to engage both academics and practitioners in the thorny issues of risk, commitment, unforeseen contingencies and renegotiation, monitoring and management, incentives and more, while drawing out invaluable insights that can be applied broadly across a range of public sector contracting activities.' Carolyn J. Heinrich, Sid Richardson Professor of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin

'With this work, Professors Brown, Potoski and Van Slyke have formulated an insightful view into the challenges and opportunities of complex contracting. The focus is on a large scale, complex acquisition program managed by a federal agency, but provides guidelines applicable to any program in the public or private sectors - particularly for those who seek to do business with or for the federal government and the necessity to get it right.' Sean O'Keefe, Chief Executive, EADS North America, Secretary of the Navy, and Chief Financial Officer, Department of Defense

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