From the government report:
"The value of Federal contracts awarded without full and open competition has more than tripled since 2000. For the first time on record, last year more than half of Federal procurement spending was awarded through no-bid and limited competition contracts."
Not surprising that this trend has seen so much of an upswing since Bush took office. His tendency has always been towards greater privatization and less oversight.
Democrats are promising to look into this waste and abuse. Indeed, this report is a good start. I'm cynical enough to believe that this is intentional on the part of the Bush administration. No-bid contracts funnel taxpayer money into the pockets of shareholders, while bankrupting the government so as to make it incapable of providing for its citizens (as Grover Norquist put it, this helps make the government "small enough to drown in a bathtub"). Also, because we're getting so little bang for the buck, it makes the government look like a terrible mechanism for solving societal problems, which is how Bush-style conservatism wants us to view our government.
We need to demand oversight and accountability on every cent that the government spends, whether directly or through private contractors.