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Memorandum on Competition in Federal Procurement

August 11, 1983

Memorandum for the Heads of Departments and Agencies
Subject: Competition in Federal Procurement

Competition is fundamental to our free enterprise system. It is the single most important source of innovation, efficiency, and growth in our economy.

Yet, far too often the benefits of competition are excluded from the Federal procurement process—a process which now resubmits in expenditures of over $160 billion annually. Numerous examples of waste and exorbitant costs due to the lack of competition have been detailed by the Congress and the press during recent months.

Although efforts have been initiated by this Administration through the Reform '88 Management Improvement Program to correct this longstanding problem, I am convinced that more needs to be done. Consequently, I have directed Don Sowle, the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget, to issue a policy directive on noncompetitive procurement to all departments and agencies. That policy directive will establish government-wide restrictions on the use of noncompetitive procurement and will be reflected in the government's procurement regulations. While such congressionally mandated programs as contracting with minority firms and handicapped persons will not be affected, the unwarranted use of noncompetitive practices must and will be curtailed.

Pending the formal issuance of this new policy by the Administrator, I call upon each of you to assure that competition is the preferred method of procurement in your department or agency.


Ronald Reagan, Memorandum on Competition in Federal Procurement Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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