Should Contract Savings Go to Gov Employees?

What I’m positing will be controversial to many.

If a government employee is clearly and directly responsible for realized savings on a contract, should 1% of contract savings, capped at $10,000 per year across all contracts, go to the employee as an award for good work?

I know that the federal government will give whistleblowers money that is saved from exposing fraud. I see pros and cons.


Govies are motivated to think creatively and pay-for-performance is practiced.


Unethical employees could structure a contract so it is expense at first, then “discover” savings in the future. Administrative burdens would be added for processing the award and making sure the system isn’t scammed.


The idea has potential, but should be examined and imulated (if possible). If those pan out, the concept should be piloted by a large and small agency to assess its impact across different sized government agencies.

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Henry Brown

Been several years BUT… Two DOD organizations, that I have had more than a passing involvement in, directly awarded COTR’s when they/we were able to save money on contracts. the limit was set at 10,000 dollars the 1% limit would, in most cases, never come into play. The COTR’s had to rely on supervisor’s opinion on the value to be placed on the reward.

Brandon Jubar

I proposed this at my former company, when I worked in the private sector. Salespeople were rewarded with a commission, so they always pushed for the highest price possible. I suggested that we be rewarded for the savings we achieved, which was extra incentive to get the best value possible.

Executive management laughed at the idea and told us to get back to work.

The main problem that I see with the concept, being a contract specialist directly supporting an IT shop, is that LPTA is rarely the best choice for the government. But what you’ve proposed would be a huge incentive for the Contracting Officers to go with LPTA over “best value” every time… because it’s very hard to accurately quantify the “savings” from BV, while LPTA is very straight forward.