Little Competition for Pentagon Suppliers

From Reuters

The Pentagon’s biggest suppliers have won most of their prime contracts in recent years -- hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth -- without going through a competitive process, a government watchdog group reported.

In a survey of 2.2 million contract actions totaling $900 billion in authorized spending from fiscal 1998 to 2003, the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity also found that half the defense budget was going to private contractors, not to direct costs such as payrolls for the armed services.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment, saying the Defense Department had not yet seen the report. Pentagon officials say most no-bid deals are awarded because only one source exists for the goods or services being sought.