Despite the torrents of hype from various sources, I urge companies pursuing federal contracts not to be lured away from acknowledging and engaging those opportunities and obligations made by agencies when they will not use a multiple-award contract vehicle to make a purchase. Obviously for each company it comes down to the offering, the procuring agency, etc., but the bottom line is that orders placed by agencies against multiple award BOA, BPA, FSS, GWAC and IDC vehicles don’t have nearly the impact some would have you believe.
For starters, the only contract vehicles that are always multiple award are Federal Supply Schedules and GWACs.
While spending on multiple award indefinite delivery vehicles (MA-IDVs) is increasing, they still account for far less of today’s contracting dollars. For example, FY2015 initial award actions (not including modifications) show there were twice as many dollars to single award contract vehicles than to multiple award vehicles. That means for every dollar obligated to a GSA Schedule, GWAC or multiple award BOA, BPA or IDC, there were two dollars obligated to single award BOAs, BPAs and IDCs. Even if we take into account not all Federal Supply Schedule spending is reported to FPDS-NG, single award dollars still lead by thirty-five percent over dollars to multiple award vehicles.
Another important fact to bear in mind is that more than half of all fiscal obligations are the result of a modification transaction versus a solicitation transaction.
Since the start of Fiscal Year 2011, agencies have reported a little over one trillion dollars in obligations to single and multiple award IDVs. That’s a lot of dough, but let’s not leave out the other players in the federal contracting ‘award’ game. None of what I’ve discussed to this point includes spending on those awards made using purchase orders and definitive contracts. These buys are not orders placed against established contract vehicles and account for half of fiscal obligations, on average.
Companies need to understand the impact of multiple-award contract vehicles, but not at the risk of being blinded to the other ways agencies buy.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”