Monthly Archives: April 2022


Individual federal offices are just now getting their money for the rest of FY’22.  Business is about to move into a higher gear.  Here are three things contractors can do now to maximize their business:  1.  Know Not Just Who Has Money, But Where It Will Be Spent:  Good news, your potential federal customer now has money to spend.  Bad news, they’ve already obligated it on other projects.  Have you checked their procurement forecast?  Most agencies do maintain a procurement forecast that tells you where most of their spending will go.  While there may be some exceptions, its usually better to align your actions with where customers already know they want to go.  2.  Check To See If You Missed Out on RFI’s or Draft RFP’s:  Business did not stop just because customers didn’t have all of their funds.  Many federal offices issued RFI’s asking for input on potential projects over the past few months.  Some even went all the way to the draft RFP/Q stage.  Make sure you’ve done your market research and are up to date on projects you want to pursue.  You may be a bit behind the curve, but there could be time to catch up.  3. Know Whether Your Customer Has a Planned Acquisition Method:  Some federal buyers absolutely do know how they want to acquire goods and services for the remainder of the year.  If your customer wants to use a specific contract that you don’t have, it’s time to find a partner who does.  If, though, your customer doesn’t have an acquisition method in mind, contractors should absolutely step forward to recommend one or two.  Don’t assume that your customer already knows their acquisition options.  Agencies sometimes appreciate knowing how a specific contract program can meet their needs.  With money to spend from now till midnight September 30th, the pace of federal business will only increase from here on.  Take these steps to ensure that your business is positioned for success.


New guidance issued from the Office of Management and Budget, and being supported by the General Services Administration, directs federal agencies to consider whether Best in Class (BIC) contracts permit agencies to meet socioeconomic small business goals before using such contracts.  If not, other solutions should be considered.  Further, the use of BIC solutions should be balanced with decentralized contracts and other necessary strategies to increase diversity within agency supplier bases.  In short, “best” may not always be best if the solution doesn’t allow for appropriate small business participation.  All of this is part of the Administration’s push to increase equity in government acquisition and promote the use of disadvantaged small businesses.  While this initiative is well-intended, it could be construed to make it appear as if existing BIC solutions do not include participation from small or small, disadvantaged businesses.  That is manifestly not the case.  There are multiple such vehicles across the government, including several in GSA such as the Alliant II, OASIS, and VET2 contracts.  Are those contracts still to be considered “best”, and therefore a preferred acquisition source?  GSA’s guidance doesn’t say.  It does, however, point to the “under construction” POLARIS contract as one that will have equity solutions built in.  That contract, though, is still some ways away from implementation.  GSA should advise users on existing contracts that can meet equity goals. Similarly, guidance pointing to large business contracts that benefit small, disadvantaged companies through government-required subcontracting plans may also be advisable.  It is certainly the government’s prerogative to use its acquisition system to meet multiple socio-economic and other perceived “good” outcomes.  It should not be surprising, though, if some agency customers are left scratching their heads over whether the use of the “best” vehicles is good enough.


Despite late FY’22 appropriations, many GSA Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS) offices already have substantial work.  Some reported traditional fourth-quarter business levels early in the fiscal year.  Current projects, follow-ons, incremental funding, or projects that were on a regional AAS pipeline have the best chance of moving forward now.  Brand new projects, especially those requiring a new procurement, may find tougher sledding.  GSA AAS continues to see an increase in business across nearly all regions, as well as with their FEDSIM office.  This is a reflection of several factors, including the strong business reputation of AAS offices and the overall declining number of federal acquisition officials.  GSA has also seen an uptick in the complexity of AAS projects.  This is particularly true for professional service acquisitions that now make up more AAS work than traditional IT projects.  GSA AAS resources are definitely still available, but customers and contractors must be aware of timelines and AAS capacity.  Each GSA AAS office is being advised to look at net new opportunities for this rest of this year on a case-by-case basis.  Whether or not such projects can be accepted will likely depend on the capacity of a specific office and the time required to conduct the acquisition.  No formal, or informal, cut-off dates have yet been set for the remainder of the fiscal year.  Some regions may issue such notices soon.  It is definitely advisable, therefore, that contractors and their customers submit any new projects as soon as possible.


Yet another contractor recently had their discounts inadvertently changed by a contracting officer during what should have been a routine mod.  Fortunately, the error was caught before the company signed the mod and proceeded to sell under a contract they thought they knew, only to find out later that they were non-compliant.  Errors happen every week in government contracting.  Allen Federal has substantial experience in reviewing contract documents and in finding errors, some serious, that can potentially cost companies millions if not corrected.  We charge far less.  Contact Allen Federal today at and we’ll give your contract file a review that will give you peace of mind and/or some needed homework.


Federal spending could shrink by 5%, or perhaps a bit more for the remainder of FY’22, according to a recent market forecast issued by Bloomberg Government.  Contract spending could decrease from $650 billion last year to $617 billion this year, or even a bit less depending on the actions of certain agencies.  The overall downturn is anticipated to be led by reduced activity in HHS, Agriculture, and the Department of Homeland Security.  These three agencies increased spending during the core of the pandemic to meet the needs of those who rely on their programs.  Bloomberg’s outlook for the defense market is less certain, with forecasts showing both an increase or a decrease depending on certain actions.  Proposed increases for R&D, medical services, and operations would fuel an increase while drops in medical services, professional services and weapons programs could drag spending numbers lower.  Bloomberg speculates that fewer and larger contracts may go to fewer and larger companies.   Contractors could also assess their competitive approach on how they participate in large contract vehicles and the overall number of bids they submit.  Not mentioned in the Bloomberg report was the impact of severely late Congressional appropriations on the acquisition cycle.  FY’22 presents an almost perfect storm of a tightly compressed acquisition time frame with significantly fewer acquisition professionals to execute each project.  Market intelligence, relationships, and focus will be especially important factors for contractors as they attempt to navigate this year’s market.  More than one commentator has suggested that it is time to “hold on tight”.  In the meantime, Bloomberg projects that FY’23 could result in a rebound of contract spending to within 2-3% of FY’21 totals.  Indeed, spending could be much higher depending on any number of internationally related factors.