Essay On Government Contracting

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In the final essay of this series, Chairman Verkuil reflects on his experience during Hurricane Katrina as a witness to the response by government at all levels.

Consistent with the theme of Lewis’ essay, Verkuil dwells not on government’s failings, but on the region’s resilience in the face of crisis, and the positive steps that the federal, state, and local governments have been taking to ensure a better response to the next disaster.

A leading administrative law scholar, he has published more than sixty-five academic articles as well as a number of books, the most recent being .

This series also features responses to Chairman Verkuil’s keynote by, respectively, Professor John Dilulio of the University of Pennsylvania and Professor David Lewis of Vanderbilt University.

Although he recognized that there are times when “at-will” employment and outsourcing may be beneficial, Verkuil argued that government could work better if it protects and keeps more bureaucrats running regulatory and other governmental programs.

Chairman Verkuil delivered his remarks at the 2015 Regulation Lecture sponsored by the Penn Program on Regulation.In just a few years’ time, the new ACUS has completed dozens of research projects and succeeded in bringing governmental managers together to identify many new ways to make government work better for the American people.In addition to playing a pivotal role in reviving ACUS, Verkuil has made numerous contributions to legal education and academia throughout his preeminent career.President Obama appointed Verkuil to lead its second generation.Since his Senate confirmation in 2010, Chairman Verkuil has rebuilt and revitalized ACUS.As the problems associated with delegating crucial government functions to contractors and replacing civil servants with “at-will” employees become clear, it turns out we actually need more well-qualified bureaucrats – not fewer.The popular narrative of an outsize bureaucracy staffed by inefficient workers does not reflect the reality of government today, according to John Dilulio, whose contribution to this series paints a picture of a federal civil service that is “….overloaded, not bloated.” When the government fails, it is often at least in part because there are too few civil servants to oversee the increasing number of for-profit private contractors to whom the federal government has outsourced many of its most important functions.Although these principles are discussed in civics books, the treatment of them there is often less than satisfactory.This essay will attempt to remedy some of the deficiencies of those treatments. Since then, the design has often been imitated, but important principles have often been ignored in those imitations, with the result that their governments fall short of being true republics or truly constitutional. Constitution established a system of government upon principles that had been discussed and partially implemented in many countries over the course of several centuries, but never before in such a pure and complete design, which we call a constitutional republic.


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