Peters and Lankford Bipartisan Bill to Save Taxpayer Dollars and Improve Federal Contracts Advances in the Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and James Lankford (R-OK) to help ensure federal agencies are buying high-quality products and saving taxpayer dollars has advanced in the Senate. The senators’ bill, which was introduced last month, creates a pilot program requiring federal agencies to consistently track whether they are getting a good return on investment when awarding contracts for goods and services. The bill was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where Peters serves as Chair. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.  

“The federal government has a responsibility to taxpayers to purchase high quality products at a good price,” said Senator Peters. “My bipartisan legislation creates a program to track these purchases and ensure agencies are spending taxpayer dollars efficiently and effectively.”    

“Federal contractors should live up to the product and service standards they offered in their pitch to win the contract. It is in taxpayers’ best interest for the government to check in on those standards from time to time and make sure the value promised is the value received,” said Senator Lankford. “I’m glad to continue to work with Senator Peters and our Committee to ensure customer service is a top priority in government contracts as we work to spend Oklahomans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars wisely on quality goods and services.”  

“The Improving Contracting Outcomes Act of 2024 is an important step toward optimizing the federal government’s contracting processes. This pilot program will allow government procurement executives to utilize innovative commercial best practices and help to bring the federal government and U.S. defense industrial base more into alignment, strengthening industry’s ability to provide quality products and services to the warfighter,” said the Honorable David Norquist, President and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).

“A major priority of PSC is to help the government become a smarter customer and a better buyer because this will improve acquisition results. This legislation from Chairman Peters and Senator Lankford would help focus the Federal government on awarding contracts based on real “best value,” leading to those better outcomes. At PSC, we support the goals of this bill because it reflects what we know from experience: that contracts awarded on lowest price may seem to offer value but often do not result in the best outcomes. America needs the best outcomes from government contracts, and this bill supports that goal,” said David Berteau, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Services Council.  

The federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, however there is currently no process in place to consistently track the extent to which federal agencies are getting good deals for the American taxpayer. The bipartisan Improving Contracting Outcomes Act of 2024 would ensure agencies are focusing on the outcomes of contracts, including assessing the performance of contracting offices, identifying what works and what does not, and improving the return on taxpayer dollars.   

The bill would establish a pilot program to demonstrate how senior contracting leaders can identify and use outcome-oriented metrics by measuring cost reduction, timeliness of deliveries, quality of deliverables, and end user satisfaction. The program will include four federal agencies, with at least one military department, and will span the course of two years. Throughout the pilot program, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will issue interim and final reports identifying the four agencies’ outcome-oriented metrics and the potential to implement outcome-oriented metrics government-wide.