Contracted Versus Internal Assembly for Complex Products: From Deepwater to the Acquisition Directorate in the U.S. Coast Guard

It is important to emphasize that the authors have not attempted to assess or evaluate the transition or Project Deepwater itself. Instead, the report focuses on providing lessons learned from the transition and offers three recommendations for contract management staff, agency executives, and congressional and executive-level policy makers.

The Challenge of Contracting for Large Complex Projects: A Case Study of the Coast Guard's Deepwater Program

The federal government now spends about 40 percent of its discretionary budget to buy everything from office supplies to weapon systems. When the government buys simple products, like paper clips, they can turn to well-established acquisition strategies and practices and apply them to richly competitive markets. When government agencies buy complex products, like weapon systems, conventional acquisition approaches are often insufficient and markets are more challenging.

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