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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Contract traffic picks up as fiscal close nears

The daily Defense Department contract round up leaves little doubt that we are rapidly approaching the end of the fiscal year.

First, there is the volume of awards in the digest. Friday’s had 43 total awards, with the Army announcing 20, the Navy 10 and the Air Force 6. The Defense Logistics Agency also had six awards, and there was a lone award by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Through most of the year, we probably see half of that volume on a busy day.

But this is a pattern we’ll see until the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

Another sign are the number of contract modifications, we see. Friday’s actually was a little low with just seven of the 43 awards coming from modifications. We also see a lot of task order awards.

This makes sense as the agencies make awards under existing vehicles because it is easier and quicker to spend money this way at the end of the fiscal year.

I noticed a new phrase (at least to me) in a couple awards – “One bid solicited with one bid received.” This makes me think that the agency was directing an award to a specific company. Is this a more polite way of saying “sole source?”

There were nine awards in Friday’s roundup that used that phrasing or something very close to it. And some of these were quite large, such as s $562.5 million contact to AM General for ambulances. Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace one a $498.3 million contract for continued sustainment of the M153 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station.

Closer to the IT market, the awards were smaller such as a $17.9 million contract to AT&T for a combat trainer data subsystem.

But the point is government buyers are looking for quick access to contracts and contractors, so you need to be ready. In fact, you should already be ready.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Sep 17, 2018 at 12:59 PM

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