For a more granular look at the Purse String Index, head on over to the analysis for the Department of Health and Human Services.

One of the most important components of the federal contracting market is the point of contact for an opportunity. The point of contact (usually a Contracting Officer or CO) is often the only source of information about current and future contracts. In other words, the CO controls the administrative process of awarding government contract dollars. With this in mind we wanted to see if there was a way to quantify a CO’s performance.

As such GovTribe proudly presents the Purse String Index.

What is the Purse String Index?

The Purse String Index is an evaluation of CO performance across the three variables that, in our experience, speak to productivity and efficiency:

  • Frequency – Compared to the DHS average, how often does the CO award contracts?
  • Velocity – Compared to the average, how short or long is the procurement process?
  • Magnitude – Compared to the average, what is the dollar value of the average contract the CO awards?

We then modify a CO's score based on, what we call, the Annoyance Factor. The Annoyance Factor is derived from two things - the number of amendments or modifications issued prior to award, and the number of times the due date changed. Changing the requirements and moving the timeline for a procurement costs companies money, so we thought this was only fair.

A score of one (1) indicates a CO is performing at the agency average. A Purse String Index greater than one is above average.

The chart below shows the top COs for the Department of Homeland Security active in the last five years, ordered by the Purse String Index. 

Nicholas Martinelli tops the list with a score of 4.35, which I’m sure will win him accolades among friends and colleagues. But why did Mr. Martinelli get the top slot? To better understand how the Purse String Index works take a look at the key stats for the DHS top six.

Nicholas Martinelli’s high score is driven by the fact that he awarded multiple contracts with an average value in the high, double-digit millions. He completes his procurements in 20 days on average, he rarely amends projects and never changes the due date.

Number two, London Venzon, has stats similar to Mr. Martinelli. Spot three, though, got a strong Purse String Index score despite a low average contract value because of a high frequency coefficient (award count).

Now What?

If you are interested in competing at the Department of Homeland Security, the Purse String Index gives you critical input into your opportunity review process. As every proposal is an investment of your time and money, understanding the risks is critical to making the right pursuit decisions.

Interested in the Purse String Index for a specific market or agency? We'd be happy to build you a Custom Report