Federal Buying Season: Government Spending Should Continue to Increase, New Regulations Make Buying Easier Previous item Meet the People Who Enable... Next item 5 Tips from Cisco to Make...

The end of federal buying season is September 30 – less than two months away. Value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) who want to tap into lucrative government contracts have limited time to finalize schedules and attempt to get bids in on IT contracts for next fiscal year.

This is particularly important, given that last year’s government spending increased for the third straight year. In this news roundup, we share a story about that spending increase, as well as the growth in other transaction agreements and how a change in federal acquisition regulations should make it easier for agencies to spend money this season.

Government’s Contract Spending Approaches $600B, Highest Since 2010

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The federal government spent $559 billion on contracts for products and services in fiscal 2018, the most the government has doled out in contracts since fiscal 2010, according to an analysis from Bloomberg Government. Federal contracting spending jumped 9 percent from fiscal 2017—a third straight year of growth—driven largely by a massive uptick in Defense spending. According to Bloomberg Government, conditions are ripe for the federal spending spree on contracts to continue, with information technology trending at an “unprecedented growth rate.”

Read the article in NextGov here.

Money Spent Through OTAs Surges to More Than $4 Billion

Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) are increasingly popular as a contracting tool. OTA purchases across the government surged from $2.3 billion in fiscal 2017 to more than $4 billion in fiscal 2018. The OTA authority, which was expanded by the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, allows agencies to sidestep the Federal Acquisition Regulation and work with innovative, small companies that don’t normally do business with the government. OTA awards are generally quite small, as they are intended to fund prototype projects in an iterative fashion.

Read the FedScoop article here.

FAR Tweaked in Time for Fall Buying

Managers of the largest government-wide acquisition contracts (GWACs) expect a recent change to the federal acquisition bible will make agencies’ fall spending run a little smoother. In June, the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and NASA issued an amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation removing a bit of the paperwork that required federal agencies to get an interagency acquisition determination when they buy goods and services from GWACs. An assistant commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Services office of information technology category recently blogged that it reduces the administrative burden for agencies buying through several GSA IT schedules and the agency’s assisted acquisition programs.

Read the Federal Computer Week article here.