Government Inc. Joins The Blog Parade

Washington Post staff writer Robert O'Harrow is rolling out a new blog that offers an inside look at the world of government contracting. He's calling it Government Inc.

This is how he introduced his subject today:

Dear Reader,

In launching this new relationship with you, Government Inc. would like to acknowledge that federal contracting may seem about as enticing as a plate of raw broccoli or a rush-hour trip around the Beltway.

Bear with us.

In time, we believe you will come to understand how amazing, strange and even infuriating it can be to watch how your tax dollars are spent. It probably won't come as a surprise that the government is spending more than ever before.

Consider a few statistics:

$412 billion, the total reported amount of federal procurement in 2006. That's more than twice the reported spending in 2000.

$145 billion, the total spending last year without full and open competition.

$31.5 billion, the 2006 revenue of Lockheed Martin, the government's No. 1 number one federal contractor. It's worth noting that the figure is more than 40 countries' gross domestic product.

There are people who contend that federal procurement is out of control. They point to examples of fraud, waste, and failed systems, to an overworked and understaffed contracting workforce that can't keep up. They argue that government is becoming overly dependent on contractors.

Others favor the continued expansions of "reforms" that have loosened the procurement process in recent years. They want government to operate more like a business, with flexible "partnerships" between agencies and contractors. These advocates say that speed and convenience should trump time-consuming procedures like competition.

Government Inc. will attempt to shine the bright light of reporting on the good, the bad and the sometimes very unsettling. Please let us know what you think.

All ideas, tips and especially documents are welcome.

By Dan Beyers  |  July 10, 2007; 1:28 PM ET  | Category:  Washington Post
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Comments

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I grew up in DC- I saw it all from Kennedy forward. When I see the court stuff lately I am like "ho hum". This is SO NOT NEW- and it is a waste of money- What is NOT new is that many jobs here now require clearances and are in security. ALso, we have a president who is how shall I say, a boob and a fascist...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2007 1:47 PM

I grew up in DC- I saw it all from Kennedy forward. When I see the court stuff lately I am like "ho hum". This is SO NOT NEW- and it is a waste of money- What is NOT new is that many jobs here now require clearances and are in security. ALso, we have a president who is how shall I say, a boob and a fascist...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2007 1:47 PM

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