APPROPRIATIONS COMING SO LATE AGENCIES MAY NOT HAVE TIME TO SPEND IT ALL
With one-third of the 2018 government fiscal year nearly gone and no end in sight to the endless string of CR’s, some agencies say that they may have trouble spending all of the new money Congress says they’re getting by September 30th. Some DOD officials offered this concern last week. At least one civilian agency official has said that 2018 could be the year when agencies identify what they need, but won’t be able to pull the trigger to get till 2019. It may be mid-spring before a comprehensive appropriations measure is passed, giving agencies essentially five months to get a full year’s worth of new projects out the door and awarded. Contractors can help their customers be prepared to handle the rush work by working with them now to recommend quick and easy procurement methods. Existing IDIQ contracts with known terms and conditions – think Alliant, SEWP, and GSA Schedules – may be the best way to manage the acquisition wave. Remember, too, that the government does have sole source authority, especially via small business set-asides, and that DOD is making increased use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA). Helping your customer can help you too. If everyone knows time will be short, planning now to ensure competitive and timely acquisitions is essential.