Most people think the more specific you make a contract, the better performance you’ll get from the vendor. Steve Kelman, a professor of public management at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, joined In Depth with Francis Rose to explain why that may not always work.
Kelman, a former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, discussed some recent experiments that indicate fewer details in contracting are better.
More broadly, Kelman discussed what a more trusting relationship between agency and contractors looks like.
Writing on the same topic in Federal Computer Week, Kelman noted that often in contract terms, the devil’s in the details — or more accurately, in his view, the details can be the devil.