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Abstract

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Abstract

The history of government contracting in the United States has created a regime of one

with few instances of corruption, fraud, and human error, but there are still ways in which it can

improve. The United States has much to its credit, namely being the largest purchaser of

products and services around the world on behalf of its government. From custodial services to

space technology, the nation makes significant purchases in all areas to improve upon its

capabilities. The culture of procurement that the United States has created also extends to

contracts, on which it has spent nearly $600 billion. Federal, state, and local bodies are able to

buy products, services, and infrastructure with financial endowments with other governmental

and private organizations. Contracting and spending are large businesses in the United States and

due to this, it must be heavily regulated. Corruption in contracting and procurement runs rampant

in several countries, as well as the United States. Supplier contracts are and have been awarded

in secrecy and laden with specific conditions and regulations that are being intentionally hidden

from the governing bodies that regulate those transactions. Companies with strong governmental

and political connections have the capital and leverage to win contracts by rigging the bidding

process, subverting the competitive landscape, interfering with delivery and procurement

processes, etc. This paper will detail the history of the federal contracting system in the United

States, its development, and the heavy control of processes that presides over contracting

transactions in order to maintain its transparency and sanctity. From federal and state statutes to

dispute resolution, governing the contracting process in the United States handles agreement,

bargaining, consideration and estoppel, breach of contract, cancelling the contract, and more. In

the United States, laws go to a great length to ensure that contracts are valid, ethical, and

mutually beneficial.
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Keywords: contracting, government contracting, procurement