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Federal Acquisition Regulation

Federal Acquisition Regulation

Describe the legal and administrative framework and economic considerations of the federal procurement
Distinguish between the various types of contracts and considerations for use.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in procurement and contract law.
Write clearly and concisely about procurement and contract law using correct grammar and mechanics.



The federal government is one huge institution whose operations are regulated. In order
to ensure smooth operations within government, there are certain rules and regulations that must
be followed. Just like every other organization, the government also has a procurement
department whose mandate is to make purchases on behalf of the government. Government
procurement is slightly different from ordinary procurement process. This is mainly due to the
nature of contracts as most involve huge amounts of money. To ensure that due process is
followed when it comes to government procurement, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
were established. With these rules, government procurement has been standardized and this has
enhanced consistency (Oyer, 2015). Further, FAR ensures that there is impartiality and fairness.
Even with the stringent regulations that have been put in place, scandals in government
procurement still happen from time to time. The aim of this discussion is to critically analyze the
Federal Acquisition Regulations with the aim of establishing their effectiveness. The discussion
has in particular sought to establish whether the regulations offer adequate protection of the
collective buying power of the American people. In order to properly put into context the
effectiveness of FAR, the paper has analyzed one of the recent scandals in government
procurement namely ‘The Fat Leonard Scandal’.
Analysis of FAR
As aforementioned, government procurement is somewhat complex compared to the
normal procurement procedure for businesses. The process of procurement is different and so is
the nature of contracts awarded. Fully aware of the mischief presented therein, it became
necessary to have specific laws that govern the procurement process within various government
departments. The aim was among other issues to protect the collective bargaining power of the


American people adequately. Unfortunately, as seen from the Fat Leonard Scandal below, the
FAR is not yet strict enough to offer the protection required.
The Fat Leonard Scandal
In this scandal, Glenn Defense Marine was appointed to provide logistic services to the
United States Navy. Glenn Francis, the leader of the company is however accused of flouting
government procurement rules by bribing officers in the navy. According to a report released
recently, (Manuel, 2015) Glen Francis, together with members of his company plotted a scheme
that would see the cost of husbanding logistic services provided to the Navy hiked. The scheme
was collusion between Glenn’s company and some insiders from the Navy who, together, would
work to see inflation of prices of the services provided. When the scandal was unearthed
sometime in mid-2014, the services of Glenn Defense Marine were suspended immediately and
some officers from the Navy were relived off their duties.
In the year 2009, the American Navy made a request as required by the procurement
procedures. In the request out, the requirement was for a company that has the capability to
husbanding services in logistics. Husbanding services is a common term that is used in the
maritime field to refer to support services offered to the navy including protection of the ships
and transporting the members of each ship. These services also include provision of basics such
as water and food, removal of sewage and trash and any form of logistical service that the Navy
may require. Usually, each request will clearly outline the nature of husbanding services that the
Navy is seeking. The scandal would go on undetected until some in 2013 when discrepancies
were noticed and immediate action taken.
Loopholes in Public Procurement


The Federal Acquisition Regulation has been cited as one of the most effective and
efficient. It has seen a watertight process that ensures that the procedure is followed to the letter.
However, even with such strict measures, it is evident that some loopholes still exist (Manuel,
2015). With the Fat Leonard Scandal, it is clear that there are areas that the federal government
must step in to tighten the ropes. Although investigations into the Fat Leonard Scandal are still
ongoing, it is becomes clear that there are major gaps within the system. In this particular case,
how is it that the members of the Navy got too involved in the procurement process that they had
a chance to negotiate a deal with the service providers. The standard requirement is that the team
involved in procurement should not be the ones directly benefiting from the services to avoid
conflict of interest. In this case, it appears that those involved in the process of procurement were
also directly benefiting hence the corruption.
Another area of the Federal Acquisition Regulation that must be carefully relooked and
evaluated is on the selection of the bidders (Thai, 2012). Besides selecting the lowest bidder,
other criteria must be used. For instance, a background check would help to establish the history
of the company. In this case, there is a possibility that Glenn Defense Marine could have been
involved in other shady dealings in the past. With such a revelation, this company would not
have been selected to provide services to the navy.
Eliminating the Loopholes
From the above case, it is clear that Federal government must step in to ensure that all the
loopholes are sealed. In particular, the executive arm of the government is best placed to put
checks and balances that will see an effective FAR. It will also be necessary that the government
is more proactive than reactive, dealing with symptoms way before hand.


Public procurement is an essential part of the government allowing the federal
government to provide the public with jobs. However, it is unique from normal procurement
because it often involves contracts of large sums of money. As such, it is of extreme importance
that stringent measures are put in place and that all loopholes are eliminated. The federal
government has worked tirelessly to ensure that any existing loopholes are sealed. Still, there is
need to reassess and re-evaluate the entire public procurement procedure. This will help point out
the areas of weaknesses and thereby identify possible solutions.



Manuel, K. (2015).Responsibility Determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation:
Legal Standards and Procedure. London: Diane Publishing
Oyer, D. (2015). Accounting for Government Contracts: Federal Acquisition Regulation. New
York: Lexis Nexis.
Thai, K. (2012). International Handbook of Public Procurement. California: CRC Press.

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