As we await DoD’s final numbers to clear the ninety day OPSEC viewing delay, what’s already known is agency spending via Simplified Acquisition Procedures in Fiscal Year 2015 surpassed the mark they made during FY2014, which (by the way) was a banner year!
However, once again the increase we expect to see will arrive on the heels of yet another decrease in overall federal agency obligations reported to the Federal Procurement Data System for FY2015. Even with the anticipated downturn, some agencies increased their spending in certain areas. This piece presents one area of increased spending and ten of the federal agencies, boards and commissions who made it happen.
– The Chief Visionary
If tabulating the FY2015 spend were to conclude today, the drop in spending would be roughly $40B fewer obligations in FPDS-NG than reported for FY2014. Thankfully, we still have a few weeks to go until the the DoD reporting is no longer hidden from public view and the dollars we find there should soften the blow some, but I’d be very surprised to see that deficit eliminated. For the record, DoD did report nearly $38B in obligations during the last two weeks of Fiscal Year 2014, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they finished FY2015 with similar vigor, and available contract dollars.
In case you’re wondering, I’m not holding my breath.
That said and playing the assumption there will be a decrease in spending reflected in the final numbers, Simplified Acquisition dollars still managed to eke out an increase, again. In fact, based on reported obligations for FY15, including some not yet viewable in FPDS-NG, the average fiscal growth in spending for these buys is one billion dollars since FY2009. I expect the net obligations for FY15 to exceed $20B pulling Simplified Acquisition spending ever closer to the total spend achieved by the GSA and VA Federal Supply Schedules.
Given agency spending has generally been declining, I thought it would be interesting to note which agencies are contributing to the growth of spending under FAR Part 13. The majority of the buys made this way are competitive, go to small business concerns, and are awarded as purchase orders and definitive contracts versus being orders placed against established contract vehicles such as Blanket Purchase Agreements or Indefinite Delivery Contracts. Additionally, only about ten percent of these dollars result from modifications, which means more dollars are in play.
Mind you when it comes to Simplified Acquisitions, there are more than ten federal agencies who increased their obligations from FY14 to FY15. These ten seemed to be a good cross-section of the federal sector based on how much they spent and what they were buying. As you look at the graphic below, you’ll note that the DoD FY15 spend is less than FY14, as is the Grand Total. With two weeks of obligations yet to be reported by the biggest spender across-the-board, I’ll take any lunch bet (steak) that the folks at DoD can scrounge up half a billion in Simplified Acquisition obligations before all is said and done. Heck, the Army will probably account for that on their own before we start counting the dollars of the other services, ODAs and COCOMs.
UPDATE: The final DoD spend for FY2015 Simplified Acquisitions was $11,527,165,637.22.
For the record, Army crested that number with over one hundred million to spare in FY14.
When you look out at the government contracting landscape to see what’s on the horizon, here are a few things small federal contractors might consider as they begin to execute their plans for FY16 and beyond:
- Simplified Acquisitions report seven years of pretty steady growth in spending;
- Contract Vehicles are viable and necessary tools for many, but not the final answer as demonstrated by the fact there are currently more dollars obligated to standalone contracts than to established contract vehicles for FY2015;
- When considering contract vehicles like the GSA and VA Schedules, consider the class deviations by DoD and NASA that impacts how those agencies use the Federal Supply Schedules, and;
- Be cognizant of the fact more small businesses benefit from obligations made via Simplified Acquisitions than several other types of procurements or contract types.
This continues to be a very good time for small federal contractors to vet the Simplified Acquisitions opportunity to determine how including them as part of a strategy can augment company growth.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”