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Complex Contracting
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Table of Contents

Foreword Stan Soloway; 1. Introduction: the promise and perils of government contracting; 2. Managing complex contracting in theory and practice; 3. The Coast Guard's Deepwater program; 4. Rules in complex contracts; 5. Performance incentives in complex contracts; 6. Complex contracting's promise and pitfalls: win-win and lose-lose; 7. Management strategies for complex contracts; References; Index.

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Complex Contracting uses core social science concepts to provide wide-ranging practical advice on how best to manage complex acquisitions.

About the Author

Trevor L. Brown is Associate Professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. Matthew Potoski is Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. David M. Van Slyke is Professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Reviews

'In this book, the authors bring a fresh, yet sophisticated analytical approach to the challenges that the government faces when entering into high-value, complex contracts. They explore the difficult issues without bias, neither bashing nor coddling either the government or the contracting community. Senior procurement executives and program managers, from defense and civilian agencies, from the public and the private sector, and from the US and other countries, will all benefit by studying and reflecting on the analysis and advice set out in this thoughtful book.' Daniel I. Gordon, Associate Dean for Government Procurement Law, George Washington University Law School and President Obama's Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy (2009-2011)
'Our experience with public sector contracting for complex products and services suggests that we are still in the steep portion of the learning curve on how to do this well. Complex Contracting makes major contributions in this regard, both through providing an accessible conceptual framework for approaching challenging contract situations, as well as in illustrating how key principles in contracting operate in practice and over time as the respective parties work to achieve desired outcomes. The book is written brilliantly to engage both academics and practitioners in the thorny issues of risk, commitment, unforeseen contingencies and renegotiation, monitoring and management, incentives and more, while drawing out invaluable insights that can be applied broadly across a range of public sector contracting activities.' Carolyn J. Heinrich, Sid Richardson Professor of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin
'With this work, Professors Brown, Potoski and Van Slyke have formulated an insightful view into the challenges and opportunities of complex contracting. The focus is on a large scale, complex acquisition program managed by a federal agency, but provides guidelines applicable to any program in the public or private sectors - particularly for those who seek to do business with or for the federal government and the necessity to get it right.' Sean O'Keefe, Chief Executive, EADS North America, Secretary of the Navy, and Chief Financial Officer, Department of Defense
"With this work, Professors Brown, Potoski and Van Slyke have formulated an insightful view into the challenges and opportunities of complex contracting. The focus is on a large scale, complex acquisition program managed by a federal agency, but provides guidelines applicable to any program in the public or private sectors -- particularly for those who seek to do business with or for the federal government and the necessity to get it right." - Sean O'Keefe, Chief Executive, EADS North Americal; former NASA Administrator, Secretary of the Navy, Chancellor of Louisiana State University, and Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Defense.
"In this book, the authors bring a fresh, yet sophisticated analytical approach to the challenges that the government faces when entering into high-value, complex contracts. They explore the difficult issues without bias, neither bashing nor coddling either the government or the contracting community. Senior procurement executives and program managers, from defense and civilian agencies, from the public and the private sector, and from the US and other countries, will all benefit by studying and reflecting on the analysis and advice set out in this thoughtful book." -Daniel I. Gordon, Associate Dean for Government Procurement Law, George Washington University Law School and President Obama's Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy (2009-2011)
"Our experience with public sector contracting for complex products and services suggests that we are still in the steep portion of the learning curve on how to do this well. Complex Contracting makes major contributions in this regard, both through providing an accessible conceptual framework for approaching challenging contract situations, as well as in illustrating how key principles in contracting operate in practice and over time as the respective parties work to achieve desired outcomes. The book is written brilliantly to engage both academics and practitioners in the thorny issues of risk, commitment, unforeseen contingencies and renegotiation, monitoring and management, incentives and more, while drawing out invaluable insights that can be applied broadly across a range of public sector contracting activities." Carolyn J. Heinrich, Sid Richardson Professor of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin

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