October is here again, and another government fiscal year has closed. We're taking a look back at FY 2014 procurement highs and the lows. To start things off, we've got a couple of shout-outs.

Better Late Than Never?

The Better Late Than Never? prize goes to the Science and Technology Platforms Applied to Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Development contract, which boasts a statement of work that presciently includes the development and procurement of:

medical countermeasures that address the public health and medical consequences of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) accidents, incidents and attacks, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases.

The presolicitation for the MCM Development contract dropped in March 2012, and the RFP was released in June of that year. It was finally awarded on October 1, 2014 - two-and-a-half years later. 

Roof of Your Mouth

The Roof of Your Mouth prize goes to peanut butter. So. Much. Peanut butter. Between five contracts, the federal government awarded $27.3 million for peanut butter and peanut products in FY 2014. Man, I love peanut butter. It's nice to know America does, too.

OK, enough with the pomp. On to the data.

Over 50,000 procurements were completed this year with a total award value of $272 billion. Average award value for goods contracts was about $2.9 million, while the average for service contracts was $9.7 million. Services made up 65% of award dollars via only 35% of the procurements. 

Note that the dollar values here represent contract award ceilings for all procurements completed and publicly announced in FY 2014, not actual spending in FY 2014. Total obligated dollars this year will likely be closer to $400 billion, once all accounted.

Ah, the federal buying season. This FY, 40% of procurements were closed in October 2013 or September 2014. The total value of contracts closed in just these two months was $103 billion - 38% of the dollars awarded for the year.

There was a somewhat unusual bump in July as well, driven not just by a couple of high-value awards, but by high award volume. Not a good year for govie wonks to take a mid-summer vacation.

The spike in March was driven by two factors. For defense, the Air Force  finally awarded the NETCENTS IQC for information technology services. Three and a half years from initial posting of the presolicitation, this contract was awarded to 12 small businesses with a shared $5.79 billion ceiling. 

For non-defense agencies, the spike was driven by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which  awarded its annual vaccine contracts to a handful of pharmaceutical companies for a total of $6.3 billion. 

Defense agencies are well represented in the list of top awardees for FY 2014. Navy's top two contracts this year were multi-billion sole source products contracts with the  Bell-Boeing JV and Northrop Grumman

The Army awarded the  Global Intelligence Support Services (GISS) IDIQ in December for $7.2 billion, and the Air Force's ranking was driven by the afore-mentioned NETCENTS contract.

The domestic agencies in the top ten also had some notably large awards. HHS, in addition to its vaccine contracts, awarded the  Research, Measurement, Assessment, Design, and Analysis (RMADA) IDIQ for $7 billion to 15 companies. RMADA is intended to help develop payment and service delivery models related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Veterans Affairs awarded a $3.8 billion contract to procure large quantities of a chemotherapy drug.

The vast majority of contracts were awarded without set-asides this year. The 11% of set-aside awards amounts to $30.3 billion. The largest of these was the NETCENTS contract mentioned earlier, as well as  another Air Force IQC for program management services. USAID and Department of Education also awarded a multi-billion dollar set-aside contract each.

Given the large volume of shared-ceiling multi-award contracts, looking at total award value by vendor isn't super informative. (As we discussed in a  blog post about IDIQs, it's very common for only a few companies to get the majority of obligations on one of these vehicles, even when there are dozens attached and available.) More illustrative (though perhaps not too surprising) is a list of the companies (above) that were obligated the most funding on active government contracts in FY 2014.

Somewhat more interesting is a look at the number of protests in FY 2014 by vendor. If you read our  previous blog post on protests, you won't be surprised to see Latvian Connection at the top of the list. Excepting that company, the the largest number of protests have come from a small staffing firm, JRS Staffing Services, who has objected to 17 staffing contracts across several agencies (8 of which are still ongoing). The most familiar name near the top of the list is Booz Allen, who has initiated protests of several defense-related technology contracts this year.

There were several successful (sustained) protests in FY 2014. Only two were filed by members of the top 20 -  Harris Corp. and Raytheon

That was a quick overview of FY 2014 procurement activity. Your friendly nerds at GovTribe have been working hard to make data like this easy to access and understand. Be sure to browse around  govtribe.com for your next contract opportunity, and check out our iPhone and iPad apps. If you found this analysis interesting or helpful and want to see more - perhaps a deep dive on a specific agency - you can send us a request here. Also, check out our previous Agency Insight installments on our blog.

Sources and Disclaimers

All stats are based on public sources of government data and are subject to the accuracy and completeness of those sources. Award dollars do not reflect actual monies spent in FY 2014, but rather the total value of contracts awarded this year. Total awards may be understated as award values were not available for all contracts. Dollars Obligated refers to funds allotted to projects, not necessarily current spending. FBO.gov, gao.gov, usaspending.gov, and the System for Award Management (SAM) are among the sources used.