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This paper, presented at the West Government Contracts Year in Review Conference (covering 2006), attempts to identify the key trends and issues for 2007 in U.S. federal procurement. In large part, the paper discusses the Draft Final Report of the Acquisition Advisory Panel (AAP), a blue-ribbon commission mandated by Section 1423 of the Services Acquisition Reform Act (SARA). Proceeding from the simple premise that the private sector does a better job with procurement by planning carefully and employing aggressive competition, we discuss, among other things, the inaccuracies that plague the Federal Procurement Data System; the dramatic post-2000 trend in increased procurement spending; the AAP's tame recommendations for commercial purchasing; and efforts to reign in (and responsibly utilize) interagency contracting. We also question the administration's relentless focus on competitive sourcing and critique the leadership vacuum that led to the longstanding and increasingly critical acquisition workforce shortage.

GW Paper Series

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 250, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 250