Maybe if there was bidding on the contracts, you'd be surprised what would happen.
Fair enough. Name one other company that CAN bid on (and complete) the work - that has a track record of completing those types of projects. Then your point will be made in spades.
As I understand the CFR for contracting, based on my experience as a business owner seeking contracts, sole sourcing actually requires a lot of hoops to be jumped through. It can, and does, happen all the time, though.
I've seen projects that were sole sourced on the claim that the provider was the only source that COULD complete the Statement of Work...which was a crock since MY company could have completed that SoW as well. And I know of others, competitors, that likewise could have bid as well. These were always in some fairly obscure specialty field, though, not a highly visible one like oil exploration or building refineries.
At least with the Small Business contracts, it's generally pretty tough to Sole Source a bid request.