The system is there. They publish bids out with requirements then there is a process that companies go through to get that contract. So it is better but it is often just the motions, it provide official deniability "see the paper/electronic trail show it was an open and fair bid process".
What often happens behind the scenes is that requirements are written to a specific software product that is already effectively pre-determined. Like let's say it is a complicated inventory tracking system, out of 50 or so requirement points, every one basically matching the system that L3 provides without naming L3. Stuff like that.
It is vital to do behind the scenes networking, hiring insiders, that needs to happen besides also having someone full time that knows how to jump through the "official" red tape.