Reform is not always popular among those who enjoyed the old regime. The current push to strip away protections afforded to contractors participating in commercial-item acquisitions illustrates this struggle — and why the reforms were valuable in the first place.

The Truth in Negotiations Act was enacted in 1962 to ensure that the government had access to the same factual information as, and therefore stood on equal footing with, the contractor during price negotiations. For more than three decades, TINA posed a substantial bar to participation in the federal procurement process. It drove off companies that operated principally in the commercial sphere, did not maintain accounting systems or pricing models that lent themselves to an adequate TINA disclosure, and, quite frankly, had equal or better revenue opportunities with clients who did not retributively seek to reprice contracts years later because, for example, they had not seen a piece of paper about a quote from a vendor that the seller did not trust in any event.

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