How we got our numbers

The Washington Technology Top 100 list of federal prime IT contractors is compiled through the work of market research firm Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., which analyzes government procurement data.

FSI uses data from the General Services Administration's Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation, to which agencies report contract obligations worth more than $25,000.

The data FSI uses to calculate this list is based on spending by agencies during fiscal 2005. The procurement data is analyzed using 117 product service codes. Codes are assigned to individual expenditures by the agencies spending the money.

The codes were selected by Washington Technology to give the most accurate snapshot of government spending on IT, telecommunications and systems integration work. After choosing the codes, FSI and Washington Technology sift the data, account for mergers and acquisitions and then rank the companies.

After creating the initial list, FSI also contacts companies to give them an opportunity to review and verify their prime contracting revenue. FSI worked with companies that responded with questions about their numbers, and adjustments were made if a company provided documentation of missing prime contracting revenue.

Some companies that are publicly traded and have large commercial businesses declined to verify the numbers because it is against their corporate policies.

Some things to keep in mind while reading the list:

» Agencies report contract actions that are worth more than $25,000 and are obligated to prime contractors. This represents actual spending on a contract during the time period analyzed, not over the contract's life.

» The reports are for prime contracting only and do not include subcontracting dollars.

» GSA schedule transactions of more than $25,000 are included, but some agencies are better at reporting their GSA spending than others. FSI analysts said that companies should encourage contracting officers to report to the Federal Procurement Data Center in an accurate and timely manner.

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