GSA skeds see first spending drop in a decade

The amount of money that agencies spend through the General Services Administration's schedule contracts for information technology dropped for the first time in 10 years in fiscal 2005, according to a report due to be released Feb. 8.

The report, from the market research and consulting firm Input, shows that spending on IT products and services through the GSA schedule fell to $16.5 billion from $16.8 billion recorded in fiscal 2004. The decline, though a modest 2 percent, follows five consecutive years in which the spending had increased by more than 15 percent a year.

James Krouse, acting director of public sector market analysis at Input, said the schedules account for more than a third of measurable federal IT spending.

"However, it comes during a year in which total federal IT spending is still increasing, so this represents a shift specifically away from the schedules as a procurement channel," Krouse said.

The decline comes from a spending slowdown in equipment sales, according to Input's analysis. That may be because agencies are shifting their equipment purchases to other contract vehicles, or it may be because the demand for IT equipment is decreasing slightly. Input is continuing to examine its data, Krouse said.

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