Emerging trends in government contracting are on the horizon as the new fiscal year kicks off.
In March of 2018, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law. This law provides $500 billion in new federal spending for defense and domestic programs over two years. When examining the new bill and observing what the government is about to face, emerging trends in government contracting can be anticipated.
Increased National Defense Spending
The Consolidated Appropriations Act provides $654.6 billion in base and Global War on Terror/Overseas Contingency Operations funding. This is the biggest year-to-year increase since the War on Terror began. Furthermore, the bill represents the largest investment in national defense in 15 years. This increased defense spending will flow down to Government contractors, creating new opportunities to offer national defense products and services to the federal government. This makes increased national defense spending just one of several emerging trends in government contracting.
Additionally, the Consolidated Appropriations Act includes $47.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security. This is an increase of $5.4 billion over the last fiscal year.
Best in Class Contracts
Best in Class (BIC) contracts are reshaping category management, particularly for information technology procurement. These contracts will continue to gain momentum as agencies face increasing pressure to squeeze efficiencies out of constrained budgets.
BIC contracts are selected based on competitive pricing and access to market-proven solutions. There are five key criteria that have been established by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in regards to Best In Class Contracts:
- Rigorous requirements definitions and planning processes
- Appropriate pricing strategies
- Data-driven strategies to change buying and consumption behavior
- Category and performance management strategies
- Independently validated review
High Priority Focus on School Safety
Next on the list of emerging trends in government contracting is a higher priority focus on school safety. Many of the nation’s recent tragedies have involved school shootings. This has turned the nation’s attention to helping protect our children while they are in school and to promoting safe learning environments.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act includes legislation known as the STOP School Violence Act. This act authorizes nearly $1 billion for matching grant programs through the U.S. Department of Justice through 2028. This funding will support threat identification, mental health, training, and school safety programs at the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services.
The legislation also restores federal grant assistance for school security equipment and technology such as:
- Emergency communication systems
- Video Surveillance
- Campus Access
- Classroom Entrance Control Technology
- Fortified Entrances
- Law Enforcement Training
Heightened Efforts to Achieve Modernization
Billions of dollars are devoted to information technologies to address pervasive challenges for the Government, making this number four on the list of emerging trends in government contracting. The following are opening new business opportunities for government contractors:
- Shared services
- Cyber security
- Commercial off-the-shelf software
- Agile development
- Cloud migration
- Big data
- Data-center consolidation
- Artificial intelligence
The Modernizing Government Technology Act is changing the way the government buys information technology products and services. The law has established working capital funds for IT modernization at individual agencies. Furthermore, the National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 115-91) also enables fund allocations for IT modernization in federal agencies, aiming to improve efficiency. The General Services Administration (GSA) will manage a separate technology modernization fund authorized to receive $500 million over two years. This can be transferred to agencies for IT enhancements.
New Opportunities for Industry in Combating the Opioid Crisis
President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, and The Consolidated Appropriations Act includes nearly $4 billion in resources to combat it. This provides opportunities for government contractors to help with treatment, prevention, and law enforcement to ultimately stop the spread of these dangerous drugs and to help people to get the assistance they need.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act brings various emerging trends in government contracting for the new fiscal year. Find out more about the Consolidated Appropriations Act here.
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