Government Contracting: 5 Trends to Watch

U.S. Air Force

It’s time to check in with Public Spend Forum, a sister site of ours, to see how knowing about trends in government contracting can improve your chances of landing those contracts, help you take advantage of emerging services and expand your business.

PSF's story on government contracting focuses on five trends:

  • The Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) of 2017 will influence IT procurement.
  • Audit services will be in demand.
  • Department of Defense’s use of “Other Transaction Authority” will continue to increase.
  • Mid-Tier companies will continue to make progress and grow in number.
  • Best-in-class contracts will transform category management.

Let’s look at two of the trends because “Other Transaction Authority” sounds cool, and the last one, about best-in-class contracts, which seems to have the broadest impact because the government is seeking market-proven procurement solutions.

Other Transaction Authority (OTA) is the streamlined approach that agencies get to use when seeking innovative prototypes or research, without the typical limits of a standard contract.

But how will the Department of Defense’s use of it increase, and what does that mean for procurement professional seeking government contracts?

“In 2017, the DOD spent a record high of $412 million on OTA contracting. That surge is significant compared to the $3.5 million spent in 2013,” Public Spend Forum reports.

And that figure is expected to climb this year since spending rules have been relaxed, PSF reports.

In the second trend we’re examining, best-in-class contracts, the private sector will want to take notice because the government is looking for market-proven procurement solutions.

Here is PSF's explanation:

Best-in-class (BIC) means that something has been designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a preferred governmentwide solution that:

  • Supports a governmentwide move to solutions that are market-proven and mature;
  • Aids in the optimization of spending, within the government category management framework;
  • Allows acquisition experts to take advantage of governmentwide, pre-vetted solutions;
  • Increases the available transactional data available for analysis of buying behavior at an agency and governmentwide level.

The first comprehensive list of BIC contracts came out in 2017, and more use of them is expected.

“Information Technology procurement is one place where BIC contracting could reshape category management,” PSF reports. “Contractors should expect continued growth in the market share of existing BIC contracts after the federal government expanded the role of BICs in category management.”

To learn more about all five trends, see the full story here. And check out GovShop, a search tool to get free market research and supplier information for public procurement.

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