End of administration rush, then quiet in federal IT contracting

room of computers

Federal IT contracting will increase in the next couple of months as the Obama administration winds down, according to Professional Services Council CEO David Berteau.

However, that uptick will be followed by a lull in the first few months of the Trump administration as agencies find their footing under new leaders, Berteau added during a presentation at PSC's Vision Federal Market Forecast Conference.

"The outgoing team is pushing stuff out the door while the incoming team can't do anything," he said. "That dynamic affects contracting."

In January, contract obligations will go down, he added, saying. "That's a significant trend historically."

Vision presenter Robert Haas said that according to PSC research, continued pressure on discretionary budgets and uncertainty about how the new administration will work will remain constant beyond Inauguration Day.

For its Vision 2016 research, which was released during the conference, PSC surveyed more than 250 industry and government executives, congressional staffers and Wall Street analysts to paint a picture of how federal markets will develop.

The research indicates that inflation will reduce the relative growth of the federal IT budget in the coming fiscal year, while federal agencies hope for passage of the Modernizing Government Technology Act and its provision of billions of dollars to be devoted to cloud and managed services, according to Haas.

In fiscal 2017, he said agencies will continue to unlock powerful data and use it, while the digital transformation will continue to power more efficient business processes.

However, an increasing use of federal shared services, agencies' continuing shift to cloud technology and ongoing data center consolidation will reduce some opportunities for federal contractors, Haas said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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