GMU Explores Challenges in GovCon with White Paper Series

Washington, D.C., skyline of monuments and highways. Image: SeanPavonePhoto/iStock

George Mason University’s Center for Government Contracting has released the first three research papers of its White Papers Series focusing on the challenges in the government contracting industry.

The center, which is within GMU’s School of Business, holds a vision to be a nexus for government, industry and academia to address business, policy and regulatory issues in GovCon. Part of that effort is research, along with education and training, and collaboration.

Senior fellows at the center research and investigate topics of interest to the government contracting community to better understand and support the industry, adding a unique practitioner component.

“The Center for Government Contracting White Paper Series is a central focus of our mission to inject ideas into the government contracting ecosystem and identify potential solutions for challenges facing the community,” said Executive Director Jerry McGinn.

The three white papers released were written by senior fellows, and tackle contracting policies, intellectual property pricing and Defense Department funding.

The first white paper, “Unintended Consequences of Small Business Contracting,” was written by senior fellow and longtime government contracting executive Craig R. Reed, and explores the Small Business Runway Extension Act and issues around set-aside contracting policies.

Specifically, Reed addresses whether the small business policy is rational from an economic and technical standpoint, and its unintended consequences for job creation, value creation and mission effectiveness. He also provides recommendations for achieving these kinds of social policy objectives in other ways.

The second white paper “Pricing Intellectual Property in Defense Competitions: Toward Theoretical and Practical Advice for Government Officials and Government Contractors” by senior fellow James Hasik covers the ownership of intellectual property as the base for design of complex weapon systems.

This has been an issue between governments and their contractors, as federal policy has put negative and positive attention towards the need to acquire these intellectual property rights. In his white paper, Hasik designed a model for defense procurement competitions to explore the difference on pricing intellectual property between government and government contractors.

Senior fellow Jennifer Taylor wrote the third white paper, “The Cost of Saving Money: The Negative Impact of Roller Coaster DoD Funding,” which examines the ups and downs of defense procurement and causes of cost increases and inefficiencies.

Taylor argues the current cycle of cutting defense budgets and budget swings impact DOD operation readiness and the contractors engaging on these efforts.

To find the full whitepapers and to read more about the authors, visit the White Paper Series website.

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