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Charges of excessive profitmaking on government contracts have issued from the Senate floor and the nation's press and have provided the impetus for recent congressional investigations and proposals for remedial legislation. Profiteering by government contractors is a problem of potentially enormous dimensions since purchases by the federal government total more than seventy-seven billion dollars—over ten per cent of the gross national product. Because the greatest part of these purchases are made by the Department of Defense, congressional action aimed at minimizing excessive profits has focused upon Defense Department procurement activities under the Armed Services Procurement Act (ASPA).

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