AGENCIES WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE OF MEETING CONTRACT GOALS
Federal agencies are on track to obligate as much money via contracts, or more, in FY’22 as they did in FY’21. With about three weeks remaining in the fiscal year the top five civilian agencies – the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security – are either at or near contract spending totals for all of last year. The Department of Veterans Affairs has the largest gap, approximately $9 billion, according to Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) information, while the Department of Energy is essentially right at last year’s total. Spending totals for the Department of Defense cannot be reliably compared using publicly available information due to the 90-day delay in the Pentagon reporting contract information to FPDS. Still, anecdotal evidence suggests that DOD is also on track. The ability of federal agencies to obligate so much money so quickly is a testament to the hard work of the federal acquisition workforce. Congress was approximately six months late in passing FY’22 appropriations, leaving acquisition professionals limited time to do their work. To be sure, opportunities continue to exist across almost all federal agencies and contract actions will continue right up to the end of September 30th. There were initial concerns that the limited amount of time would lead to appropriated money being unobligated and, therefore, returned to the treasury. Those concerns, at least at the macro-level, appear to be unfounded. There is a lot of work left to be done by both government and industry, but FY’22 is shaping up to be another solid year for government procurement.