Government estimates and award amounts for Forest Service thinning contracts
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Over the last several months there has been considerable political controversy in the media over the way that federal forest contract workers are treated. Some contend that part of the problem is that the Forest Service awards contracts to the lowest bidder, sometimes disregarding how much it would cost to do the work if the contractor were to pay the full wages and benefits as required by law. These same people maintain that the Forest Service consistently awards contracts below the agencies own estimate of how much it costs to do the work. Unfortunately, there has been no systematic examination of how award price compares to the government estimate. To address these questions, we set out to compare the government estimate to the amount awarded for a sample of Forest Service thinning contracts.
- EWP Briefing Papers