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A more ‘simple’ contracting method with perks for Government and Industry (Which agencies are buying?)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Monday, May 12, 2014
Updated: Monday, May 12, 2014

Which agencies make buys using Simplified Acquisition Procedures?

(This is the third of six reports based on a conversation with Amy Morris, Morning Anchor at WNEW All News 99.1 (CBS Radio DC) These reports will also 'air' on All News 99.1.)

On May 22nd the DC Procurement Technical Assistance Center (DC PTAC) is hosting a free three hour clinic where Guy Timberlake of The American Small Business Coalition will facilitate a substantive discussion detailing how Simplified Acquisitions are used by the Government to include spending, competition, place of performance, small business and how companies can identify and pursue these opportunities. In addition to a governmentwide view of related activities, Timberlake will provide a snapshot of obligations made where the place of performance was Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia which combined, accounted for nearly $4B in FY13 Simplified Acquisition obligations.

So let's take a look at the agencies making buys using these streamlined procurement rules. During FY13, sixty-four federal agencies, boards and commissions combined to obligate over $17B, a near $2B increase over the previous fiscal year. It's important to note this increase occurred at the same time overall governmentwide obligations decreased by $56B from FY12 to FY13. Even with this downturn, Simplified Acquisitions played a significant role in government acquisition. To see a list of departments by FY13 obligations, click here. (Source: FPDS-NG)

As the largest single buyer of most everything, it's no surprise Department of Defense accounts for better than half of all Simplified Acquisition buys at just under $9B. Treasury, Justice, Veterans Affairs and State Department round out the top five accounting for more than $13B in combined obligations. Of the dollars obligated last fiscal year, the top twenty departments combine for all but $300M of all Simplified Acquisition dollars.

According to Timberlake, once companies identify the agency or agencies of interest, drilling down to see what they purchased, when it was purchased, for how much and from whom is relatively easy. "Historically speaking, details of these transactions can be easily viewed in the Federal Procurement Data System as long as the procuring agency is required to report the information. From there, companies can determine competition types, set-asides and much more."

Knowing this information can be key to identifying buying trends and related upcoming purchases. As an example, Timberlake adds "Many companies would be surprised to learn more than 1200 NAICS Codes were referenced in FY13 Simplified Acquisition buys and $10B of the $13B dollars obligated by the top five departments were the result of competitive procurements."

In part four I'll provide a summary of competition types for Simplified Acquisition requirements.
The Chief Visionary

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

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