Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



There is a long-standing need to define the position or role of the procuring contracting officer (PCO). The existence of problems related to the role have been expressed in the reports of several presidential commissions, master's thesis, and numerous articles. Each has attempted to provide insight into some aspects or problem areas of the role.

The primary contention of this study is that the many problems of the contemporary PCO can be isolated into the same functional categories is those used to study public administrator and from these same categories or disciplines, solutions should be derived.

Supporting the Public Science Policy and Administration approach to the problem is the position that the PCO is a microcosm of the public administrator caught between the pressures of the legislature, the law, industry, the public, interest groups, program managers, engineers, scientists, and in the case of the Department of Defense PCO, the military.

The study of Public Science Policy and Administration has been approached through the avenues of history, organization, law and politics, personnel, finance and policy. This thesis utilizes the topics of history and law as introductory to what the PCO is and why his position exists. The topics of organization, personnel, policy and again law, are used as the focal points or broad areas within which the various primary problems facing the PCO are placed.

Finally, the categories are utilized to indicate generally the disciplinary areas from which solutions should be derived and suggest some possible beginnings. Primary among the suggestions or recommendations for a substantial broadening and upgrading of the educational base of the profession and for a substantial change in the organizational philosophy of the Department of Defense, as it affects the PCO.

The thesis does not pretend to arrive at final conclusions, but was written with the hope that it might serve as consolidating and thus clarifying documentation which could be used as a starting point for more in depth future research in this area.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Albert H. Rosenthal

Second Committee Member

Leonard Arnold Stitelman

Third Committee Member

Vladmir V. Berniklau



Document Type