Civilian contracts soar in the first quarter

Awards by civilian agencies shot up 205 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2005 compared to the previous quarter, while contracts awarded by defense agencies dropped almost 59 percent, according to a report issued today by research firm Input Inc.

Civilian agencies awarded $13.4 billion in federal contracts during the first quarter of fiscal 2005. But defense-related contract awards dropped to $6.4 billion in the first quarter, compared to $15.9 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, the company said.

Five departments issued a combined total of more than $15 billion in contracts, or 77 percent, of the entire $20 billion in information technology-related contracts during the quarter ended Dec. 31, Input said.

The Energy Department awarded the largest single contract to Battelle Energy Alliance LLC of Idaho Falls, Idaho, with a $4.8 billion, 10-year award to establish the Idaho National Laboratory as the country's premier lab for nuclear energy research and development.

The U.S. Postal Service made another large award when it issued the $3 billion Universal Computing Connectivity contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md.

NASA led the agencies in set-aside competitions with two 8(a) set-aside awards totaling $700 million. The space agency awarded the $250 million multidisciplinary engineering and technology services contract to SGT Inc. of Greenbelt, Md., and a $450 million electrical systems engineering support contract to Muniz Engineering Inc. of Houston.

Set-aside competition comprised $1.5 billion of all award dollars during the first quarter of fiscal 2005 with 15 departments awarding a total of 53 contracts, Input said. Small business set-asides exceeded all other set-aside types with 36 contracts, or almost 68 percent of contracts awarded, valued at $375 million. Just eight contracts were awarded to 8(a) contractors, but the total value was $894 million, Input said.

"Set-aside awards remained relatively stable from the previous quarter," said Michael Boland, senior analyst of federal vendor profiles at Input. "Given recent legislation to ensure the 3 percent service-disabled veteran-owned business goals are met, we expect to see a substantial increase in the number and awards of SDVOB procurements in the future."

Based in Reston, Va., Input provides market research primarily for companies that compete for government contracts as well as information to help state and local governments compete for grants. The privately owned company has more than 1,000 clients.

The full report is available to clients of Input's information services subscription programs at http://info.input.com.


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