No. 15. Improving Economy and Efficiency in Federal Contracting Presidential Use of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act to Direct Procurement Policy


This paper looks at how Presidents have used their authority under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (FPASA) to issue Executive Orders shaping the Federal acquisition system. 

The 35 FPASA Orders issued from 1993 to March 2022 rely on the President's authority to issue policies and directives that promote economy and efficiency in the procurement functions of the government. Research found a sharp increase in the use of FPASA to issue Executive Orders, and an expansion of the scope of Executive Orders relying on the FPASA authority.

While Federal courts have traditionally given broad latitude to the President’s FPASA authority, that deference is limited. Further, Congress is rarely moved to intervene in support of or contravention of the FPASA authority or the policies promulgated under its auspices. However, these policies have created uncertainty and burdens in Federal contracting, affecting the acquisition workforce and the industrial base. Emily Murphy, senior fellow of the Center, provides recommendations for legislative and administrative changes

  • to promote the use of FPASA, and
  • to strengthen the industrial base rather than to create confusion and increase compliance costs

This White Paper was prepared for and first published in the proceedings of the 2022 Acquisition Research Symposium, Naval Postgraduate School, but has been subsequently updated.

Download the White Paper.