CONGRESS PASSES OMNIBUS SPENDING MEASURE, DRIVERS START YOUR ENGINES
Congress passed a $1.3 trillion spending measure late last week, a move that funds federal agencies through September 30th. It will take about one month before individual agencies will receive their allocated spending numbers, but business should significantly pick up from now till the end of year. New starts that had been put on hold can now commence. Specifically, the spending bill increases money allocated to the Department of Defense, something which may benefit a large swath of contractors. In addition, formal funding for the MGT Act is included, meaning that $250 million in new IT money should be available. The Department of Homeland Security also saw an increase in funding. Despite rhetoric on reducing spending for other civilian agencies such as Interior and EPA, the final spending measure contains no significant cuts for any of these agencies. Federal agencies and contractors will have 5 full months to conduct a year’s worth of business, except for certain DOD funds that will have an extra month for allocation. That’s one month more than FY’16, but enough of a compression that the pace of acquisitions should be significant from late spring onward. Make sure that you’re ready not only with the “what” of your solution, but the “how” that tells an agency how they can buy from you quickly. Remember that both process and relationships matter in federal business.