Privately the pundits are saying that retaining a federal contract incumbency at recompete time is, at best, a 1 in 10 proposition these days. It is true that most government customers would like the outcome of their contract recompetes to be the return of: the existing staff; the incumbent contractor; or, both. To ensure that the acquisition mavens are suitably appeased, incumbents invariably have to bid to accomplish their existing work at a lower price. This puts great pressure on an incumbent contractor because:
- they must devise a strategy that (appears to) retain some, or most, of their incumbent staff;
- they must be able to credibly propose to accomplish the required work at a (reduced) price that wards off insurgent low-ballers; and,
- the incumbent has to try to neutralize the large and magnetic bullseye that incumbency has painted on its back!