With Fiscal Year 2017 closed out, EZGovOpps decided to put together a small report which could illustrate the spending push that many Federal agencies enact in the fourth quarter, particularly in the final month of September. Using the EZGovOpps Awards software module, available in all EZGovOpps subscription plans, our analysts compared the number of contracts awarded during an early part of the fiscal year, in this case April, with the final contracts awarded in September for years 2015 through 2017. This not only provides a picture of the September spending rush that many agencies go through, but could provide a better idea of what to expect with an increased DOD budget in FY18.
While a final conclusion can’t be drawn from only three years’ worth of data, the charts do illustrate a stark contrast in the average number of awards that DOD announced in an early month, versus the final month for fiscal year spending. In the three years analyzed, the average contract awards in September were over 3 times the average number awarded in April. This represents a huge spike in awarded contracts, and effectively illustrates the kind of September spending rush that many agencies enact in their bid to spend fiscal year funds on-time.
September 2017 also had a higher number of awards, on average, in the entire month versus the prior years analyzed. While dollar amounts were not included in the data for this analysis, the higher number of awards in 2017 could be attributed to the FY17 Federal spending bill passed in May 2017, which boosted defense spending above FY16 levels.
With similar difficulties in funding Federal agencies likely to continue in FY18, ranging from continued debate on portions of the NDAA to debate over the entire Federal budget, it’s likely that Agencies may continue this late-year spending pattern in FY18 until a finalized spending boost (or cut) is passed later in the fiscal year. End of year spending is typically seen as a point of convenience for agencies to spend their remaining budget, but uncertainty over agency funding can mean that major contracting decisions are pushed further into the fiscal year.
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Published November 7, 2017