General Policies in
Contract Placement and Clearance
Use of Allocated Facilities --The selection of Army contractors at the beginning of the emergency in 1940 was basically oriented by the facility allocation plans prepared during the interwar period. This was especially true for the Ordnance Department but applied in varying degree to the Air Corps and the other supply arms and services. The Quartermaster Corps and the Medical Department, whose procurement responsibility involved a large proportion of commercial-type items, were able to rely heavily upon public advertising to elicit current sources of supply when the emergency came. Yet even for these procuring arms the selection of contractors for most items was guided if not determined by the facility surveys and allocation plans of the previous decade.1
No comprehensive statistics are available to indicate precisely the extent to which contract placement in the defense period conformed to the facility allocation plans and accepted schedules of production of the preceding period. Nevertheless, the dominant influence of the prewar plans is evident both from such sample figures as are available and from statements by participants in the procurement program during the defense and war years:
In placing our orders with industry, we are following the "allocation system" whenever possible and practicable. The "education order" programs of 1939 and 1940 and the "production study" program of 1940 have been of great assistance. The net results of these programs will be a saving of funds from the 1940 appropriations, and, more important, a reduced time of delivery for a great many items.2
When the burden of the present defense program was placed on the Department, the supply services immediately started operating under the industrial mobilization plan. They promptly placed orders for munitions with plants previously allocated, using informal competition whenever possible.3
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Publication information: Book title: The Army and Economic Mobilization. Contributors: R. Elberton Smith - Author. Publisher: Office of the Chief of Military History. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1959. Page number: 257.
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