By: Jacques Gansler, William Lucyshyn
During the next few years, the federal government will face growing pressure to provide more and improved services while containing or reducing costs. What is being asked of the federal government today is what was demanded of U.S. private industry in the latter part of the 20th century in order to remain competitive—namely, to make changes that result in getting more while spending less. The goal of federal acquisition policy should be to create a government that looks a lot more like a dynamic, restructured, reengineered, world-class business. There are many good examples of successful American businesses that have come to rely on core competencies to do what they do best.1 The federal government must learn from their success stories to focus on those functions that are inherently governmental—“public core competencies” such as policy, fiscal management, oversight, and warfighting. For all other current government activities, the public sector must consider alternative sourcing strategies that introduce competition—market-based government—to achieve higher performance at lower cost and to get the “best value” from either the private or the public sector. This is a proven way to improve the effectiveness of government, reduce costs, and mitigate the effects of extremely tight budgets.