Washington area grabs fistful of federal dollars

A large share of federal contracting dollars are spent in the District of Columbia and neighboring states Virginia and Maryland, according to new figures by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Virginia received $42 billion; Maryland, $22 billion, and D.C., $14 billion, in federal procurements in fiscal 2006, according to the Consolidated Federal Funds Report: 2006, which is available on the Internet.

Several local counties won significant portions of the contracting funds: Fairfax County, Va., $14 billion; Montgomery County, Md., $7.8 billion; and Arlington County, Va., $5.5 billion, the report said.

The 120-page Federal Funds report details all federal expenditures by state and county, including retirement and disability payments, salaries for federal employees and grants, in addition to contracting expenditures.

For Defense Department spending, California ranked first, with $32 billion; followed by Virginia, $29 billion; and Texas, $27 billion. The remaining states were $11 billion or less.

Nondefense spending showed similar rankings: Virginia, $12 billion; Maryland, $12 billion; California, $11 billion; D.C., $10 billion; and Texas, $8.5 billion.

The Homeland Security Department's $15 billion in fiscal 2006 spending was concentrated in a handful of places: Louisiana, $3 billion; Virginia, $3 billion; D.C., $2.5 billion; Maryland, $1 billion; and Texas, $800 million.

During the past decade, federal procurement spending has shifted slightly. Top recipients in fiscal 1997 were California, $26 billion; Virginia, $16 billion; and Texas, $13 billion. Maryland and Florida each received $8 billion in federal contracts that year, and Massachusetts and Missouri received $6 billion. The District of Columbia was not among the top six recipients, having received only $4 billion, the report said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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