Analysis: Budget cutbacks could trigger 'clawback' on contracting dollars

Tuesday - 4/10/2012, 11:52am EDT

Joe Petrillo, procurement attorney, Petrillo and Powell

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Procurement budgets for fiscal 2013 are shaping up to be less than 2012. For next year, agencies are requesting $700 billion for contractors, about 8 percent less than this year.

But it's still a big number, and the number of acquisition and contracting staff members in agencies is static or dropping slightly.

A cut to the federal workforce probably would mean a cut to contracts in "roughly the same proportion," said procurement attorney Joe Petrillo of Petrillo and Powell in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.

But the federal workforce could also see an increase as public workers take over contracted work in a "belief or hope that that will be more economical," Petrillo said. In that case, contractors will see a "clawback" of their work, he said.