GSA: Watch late-year spending

The General Services Administration is again gearing up for agencies’ end-of-year spending rush, and officials are reminding employees to think wisely about taking on last-minute work.

GSA must properly manage customers’ business and award their contracts before the fiscal year’s dollars disappear, David Drabkin, now deputy chief acquisition officer, wrote in a recent memo. He defined a reasonable amount of time to handle the work as July 2, which is 90 days before the end of the fiscal year. However, Drabkin allows each service in GSA set its own specific cutoff date for entering into new agreements with customer agencies.

Agencies are required to spend their annual appropriations before Oct. 1, the first day of the new fiscal year, and across government, program managers and financial officials are busy trying to allocate funds before they expire.

For assisted acquisition service requests made after July 2, contracting officers should carefully consider:



  • The type and complexity of the acquisition’s requirements.

  • The contract vehicle to make the purchase. 

  • Whether it requires competition or only a sole-source award.

  • The office’s current workload.

  • The available staff.

  • A department’s policy requirements accompanying the acquisition.



Awarding a simple acquisition in three months may not be a problem, Drabkin wrote.

“But for complex requirements…less than 90 days is often impractical,” he wrote.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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