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How the Government Spent $103 Billion in Just 2 Months

Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock.com

Nearly 40 percent of publicly disclosed fiscal 2014 federal contracts were awarded in October 2013 or September 2014 -- the first and last months of the fiscal year -- according to an analysis posted Wednesday.

Awards in these two months alone had a value of $103 billion, or 38 percent of all publicly disclosed fiscal 2014 contracts, the GovTribe analysis found.

Overall, the government acknowledged it inked more than 50,000 contracts worth $272 billion. Contracts for services -- as opposed to products -- made up 35 percent of the contracts and 65 percent of their total value.


Number and value of awards. Chart courtesy GovTribe

In addition to the October and September spending sprees, GovTribe reported a busy July driven by some pricey awards as well as a greater number of awards in general.

“Not a good year for govie wonks to take a mid-summer vacation,” GovTribe noted.


Seasonal awards. Chart courtesy GovTribe

March was busier than usual because the Air Force awarded its $5.79 billion NETCENTS-2 indefinite-quantity contract for information technology services, more than three years after the procurement’s first documents were posted.

The Department of Health and Human Services that same month spent more than $6 billion on vaccine contracts.

The Navy, Army and Air Force were the top spenders on public contracts in fiscal 2014, with HHS topping the list of nondefense spenders, in part due to Affordable Care Act buys.


Awards by agency. Chart courtesy GovTribe

A $4.57 billion sole-source contract to Bell-Boeing and a $3.64 billion sole-source award to Northrop Grumman helped the Navy top the list of spenders. The Army let a $7.2 billion contract for Global Intelligence Support Services, and the Air Force’s chief driver was the NETCENTS-2 award.

In addition to vaccines, HHS spent $7 billion on Obamacare-related payment-service delivery models. The Department of Veterans Affairs spent $3.8 billion on large quantities of a chemotherapy drug, GovTribe said.

The company said its analysis was only as accurate as the public data it was based on, which includes data from FBO.gov, GAO.gov, USASpending.gov and the System for Award Management. Dollar amounts reflect the total value of the contracts that were completed and disclosed in fiscal 2014 and may be understated since award values were not available for all contracts.

“Total obligated dollars this year likely will be closer to $400 billion, once all accounted,” the analysis author Marc Vogtman said.

For more information on the analysis and for a run-down of which contractors the government buys from most and which are most successful in their protests, see the original from GovTribe, a small, Arlington, Va.-based company that aims to make federal contracting information more accessible, sometimes for free and sometimes for a price.

(Image via Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock.com)

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