Vicki A. Fry

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Cindy L. Fossum, PhD

Second Advisor

David K. Vaughan, PhD


This research explored whether techniques described in the Armed Services Pricing Manual are sufficient for evaluating prices of leading-edge and modified commercial items. The research was sparked by the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act Of 1994, which encourages contracting officers to rely on information other than certified cost or pricing data when buying commercial products. Pricing techniques used in five recent acquisitions were investigated through a case-study methodology. The research concludes that current guidance is sufficiently broad to enable the contracting officer to tailor the tools to an acquisition at hand. Research findings, however, indicate that the Department of Defense should consider expanding guidance and systems for use in secondary and auxiliary price comparisons. Findings indicate that contracting officers may not have the expertise or availability of data necessary to obtain pricing information from the preferred sources ranked in proposed regulations implementing the streamlining act. The research also uncovered evidence of the culture shock that contracting officers will experience as acquisition reforms are implemented. Contracting officers indicated that prices evaluated through price analysis techniques were the best obtainable given the circumstances. They believed that better prices could have been established through analysis of detailed cost or pricing data.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.

Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology.