The Veterans Affairs Department will have awarded $500 million in information technology contracts this month by the time the fiscal year ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, VA CIO Roger Baker said during his monthly press briefing yesterday.
This means that while of Washington is asleep, VA contract staff will be pumping out awards until just before the stroke of midnight, and then spend the wee hours of the next day doing requisite bookkeeping.
Baker said VA awards about $2 billion in IT contracts a year, meaning roughly a quarter of those awards are made in the last month of the fiscal year in what amounts to a frenzy of “use it or lose it” spending.
I would not be allowed to take the same approach at home.
Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.