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In the wake of sequestration and reduced budgets, fiscal food for thought for federal contractors.

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, June 30, 2013

The other day at our BoB in Tysons and two days later during the lab portion of our Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors™ workshop in Columbia, MD, the topic of "How much will Uncle Sam spend this year?" was a key part of the discussion.

I am definitely not a soothsayer when it comes to this, but I do generate a lot of information and related intelligence that helps me and others maintain a level of GovCon situational awareness (plus, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!). Looking at YTD contract award numbers (obligations) reported in FPDS-NG, and comparing them to where those numbers typically end up when the fiscal year is done, we have a long way to go. How far?

For FY12, federal agencies, boards and commissions who are required to report to FPDS-NG, tallied just over $517 billion in obligations.

Where are we now? Try $228 billion on for size. However, don't let that spook you because this number is only $22 billion less than for the same period in FY12. So where's the problem, you ask?

Just in case you are one of the folks who has been busy helping set up the new Earth colony on Jupiter, there are some challenges in the area of agency spending to include budget cuts that have been building for years, and the $85 billion in broad spending cuts known as sequestration that will apparently (and likely at least) result in several days of unpaid vacations for many Feds.

So let's say the effect is $100 billion fewer actual contracting dollars for FY13. That would put us at $417 billion as a rough target (using the overall awards from FY12). With current FY13 spending, that would leave $189 billion to be awarded by fiscal year end. In FY12, Q4 saw $108 billion in obligations, which in the present day would leave us with a difference of $81 billion to go. Keep in mind DoD's numbers are reported 90 days in arrears which means part of that $81 billion will likely be dollars we won't see reported until New Year's Eve 2013.

So the question raised in both of our meetings was tied to how much agencies will spend by the end of fiscal year 2013.

My question is, if we believe Uncle Sam will obligate at least $400 billion in FPDS-NG reported actions by the end of FY13 (greater than $100 billion less than FY12), when exactly will it happen?


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

Tags:  award  budget  contract  government  sequestration 

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