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With some significant exceptions, no-bid or noncompetitive contracting has typically been viewed as the antithesis of modern procurement. By locating the suppliers or contractors who provide the finest goods and services at the most affordable costs, the bidding procedure is defended as saving public money. The argument is that when there is no bidding, the government pays top dollar and frequently for subpar goods and services. No-bid contracts open the door for favoritism. The question of whether these contracts were “purchased” (at least indirectly) by the firms is raised by the fact that defense contractors give millions of dollars to political campaigns while receiving billions in no-bid defense contracts. Why would no bid or noncompetitive contracting be utilized if it raises so many ethical concerns? There are two key elements at least. One is that there is occasionally only one eligible bidder, as when the government requires services that only one business can offer. The only choice at that point is to use a “sole-source” contract. The other justification is speed. There might not be enough time to allow for a protracted bidding process in an emergency. For instance, California signed no-bid contracts for $51 million in 2006 to transport prisoners to other facilities outside the state.

 Negotiations are the foundation of no-bid contracts. A government employee or group of employees is in charge of negotiating the specifics of a contract with a sole-source vendor. If you have the time, this process can take several months or only a few minutes. There may be price and service haggling during the negotiations. No-bid contracts sometimes include circumstances where the number of services and their timeline are unknown. The utilization of government no-bid contracts for Hurricane Katrina assistance, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and other projects received a lot of media attention. Overall, this system leaves many questions and concerns for ethical inadequacies however it can become a necessity in moments of emergency. 


Lee, R. D., Johnson, R. W., & Joyce, P. G. (2021). Public budgeting systems. Jones & Bartlett Learning. 


What is your opinion of no bid or non-competitive contracting? When might it be appropriate? What are the ethical considerations of this practice?

In my opinion, no bid or non-competitive contracting has its pros and cons. This type of contracting is typically used when there is a specific need for something and only one supplier can provide it. Additionally, vendors and contractors would have no competition from other bidders. One of the primary advantages is that it can be faster than other bidding methods. Since there technically isn’t a bidding war, the

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