More Innovation, Better Results: Prizes and Challenge-Based Acquisition

December 2016
Topics: Federal Transition, Presidential Transition, Government Transition
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Federal acquisition traditionally follows a lengthy, serial process that generates megabytes of documentation in response to gigabytes of regulations, policies, and directives. Mission needs are translated into technical requirements, then into system specifications and contract deliverables. The end result is often a single performer being funded to develop a solution that meets the minimum specifications. Broader innovation is stifled, and private sector competition focuses on writing the best proposal rather than developing the best solution. Many times, prizes and challenge-based acquisition (ChBA) are a better approach.

Note: Transition of power after a Presidential election is complicated; preparing the federal government for a seamless shift to a new administration is crucial to continuing important work on behalf of the American people. MITRE will inform this transition by sharing our insights and experiences with those involved in transition planning and with leaders in the next administration. Our recommendations derive from the ongoing, practical guidance we provide our federal agency sponsors as they face critical national challenges.

This paper is part of a collection provided to our government sponsors; it supports MITRE’s focus on assisting new administration and career civil service leaders through the transition and beyond to achieve results that matter.

View the entire MITRE Federal Transition collection.

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