GAO-02-1049, Contract Management: Guidance Needed for Using Performance-Based Service Contracting†
Federal agencies spent $136 billion dollars in 2001 acquiring services ranging from clerical support and consulting services to information technology services, such as network support, and management and operations of government facilities, such as national laboratories. To achieve greater cost savings and better outcomes with this spending, Congress and the administration have encouraged greater use of performance-based contracting. Under this approach, the contracting agency specifies the outcome or result it desires and leaves it to the contractor to decide how best to achieve the desired outcome. Most of the 25 contracts GAO reviewed exhibited at least one or more performance-based attributes, but there was a range in the degree to which they exhibited these attributes.