Feds IT spending spikes

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There was a surge in fiscal third quarter federal contract award activity, Input, the market research firm reported, citing the Navy as the main contributor.

Government awards of information technology-related prime contracts rose to $67 billion during the government’s fiscal 2005 third quarter, a 190 percent increase compared to the year-earlier quarter. Input said the Navy drove the bulk of the activity, generating close to $57 billion in awards.

Most of the Navy’s award activity stemmed from a single vehicle: the Navy’s SeaPort Enhanced Rolling Admissions multiple-award contract. That deal, awarded in May, has a ceiling of $54.7 billion, according to Input. The vehicle provides a range of IT services including systems engineering, logistics support and information assurance.

SeaPort Enhanced Rolling Admissions is a follow-on contract to SeaPort Enhanced, another multiple-award deal that was let in 2004. Megan Gamse, manager of defense opportunities at Input, said the Rolling Admissions pact “hit the street to open [the earlier contract] up to more ordering offices within the Navy.”

Gamse said SeaPort Enhanced Rolling Admissions calls for 30 percent of prime contracts to be awarded to small businesses. Prime contractors have a 20 percent small business subcontracting target. The contract’s small business content helped propel the growth of set-aside awards, Gamse said.

Input said federal agencies awarded about $18 billion in set-aside competitions in Q3. Those competitions represented 27 percent of the total value of awards for the quarter. In the second quarter, agencies awarded $826 million via set-asides, a tally representing 7.5 percent of all awards.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at brian@hullite.com.

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