Integrators brace for summer onslaught

The government's traditional summer information technology buying season may be busier than usual this year.

That's the view of integration executives who participated in a panel discussion at the recent UBS Software and IT Services Conference in New York. One factor is a funding rule change that might generate a wave of year-end spending.

"I expect some robust end-of-year buying," said Renny DiPentima, president and chief executive officer of SRA International.

He said that boost may be particularly evident among customers who use governmentwide acquisition contracts, such as the General Services Administration’s Millennia program. In past years, such customers could "send over a statement of work and $100 million and park it over at GSA and make the award next year" using previous fiscal year money, DiPentima said. But a rule change now prohibits agencies from carrying over funding into the next fiscal year, he added.

In light of this situation, nearly $2 billion is sitting in vehicles that will probably be spent before Sept. 30, DiPentima said.

The change in the GSA and GWAC landscape "is clearly having an impact on activity this summer," said Brad Antle, president and chief operating officer at SI International. "We see a fair amount of task order activity going on."

Movement on procurements that were stalled earlier in fiscal 2005 provides another lift for summer sales. Hart Rossman, chief technology officer of the Enterprise Security Solutions business unit at Science Applications International Corp., cited "a number of procurements out there that are really coming to fruition." He expects to see awards in the third and fourth quarters.

Randy Fuerst, executive vice president at CACI International, said task-order business has picked up across the board. "Our summer is extremely busy," he said.

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