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Sequestration's impact on contractors by-the-numbers

Federal News Radio partnered with Govini, a government market research firm, to examine how sequestration has impacted the number of contracts being awarded, delayed, and cancelled by the government.

AUTOPLAY 

Solicitations increase this year
In contrast to Federal News Radio's sequestration survey and other anecdotal evidence that fewer contract opportunities are available, Govini found the number of requests for proposals governmentwide is up by 28 percent so far in fiscal 2013 compared to the same period of time in fiscal 2012.

Read more from the special report, Private Side of Sequestration
Contract awards decline
However, according to the Govini data, the number of actual contract awards is down by 32 percent, while the total value of awarded contracts has decreased by 31 percent from October 2012 to June 2013 compared to the same period a year prior.
RFPs a hint of coming spending?
While total contract spending is down compared to last year's levels, the increase in solicitations could reverse the recent downward spending trend.

Geoff Celhar, the vice president for research and analytics for Govini, told Federal News Radio each successive quarter in 2013 has seen an increase in RFPs, which means eventually agencies will make an award.
Delays in procurement process
Contractors cite ongoing and increasing delays in the procurement process.

This graph shows the increase in the number of days between when an agency advertised a new solicitation to when it awarded a contract, what Govini calls "purchasing cycle time."

That increased from fewer than 100 days between 2011 and 2012 to more than 300 days this year, so far an increase of 289 percent.
Task orders not escaping reductions
Over the past several years, agencies have used more multiple award or GSA schedule contracts. But even those are seeing reductions now. Govini examined task orders from October 2012 to June 2013 and found a 53 percent decrease as compared to the same period in 2011-2012.

Still, during the fourth-quarter spending spree, some analysts are predicting an uptick in these contracts.

"Task order contracts are becoming a very popular way for customers to move money quickly and award contracts very quickly," Pual Fernandes, the president of STG, a mid-tier IT company, told Federal News Radio.
IT schedule solicitations trend downward
The number of RFQs under Schedule 70 for IT products and services is down by three percent.
Schedule 70 awards declining
Contract awards for Schedule 70 IT products and services are down by 32 percent, with the total award value nearing $2 billion.
Schedule 71 RFQs buck trend
RFQs under Schedule 71 for furniture are actually up by 11 percent since October, according to Govini data.
Schedule 71 contract awards on the downward swing
However, the number of actual contract awards under Schedule 71 has fallen by nearly half since October and total spending has dropped to about $50 million.
Set -side solicitations a potential growth area
Many agencies are moving away from GSA schedules and other multiple-award contracts toward small business set-aside contracts, according to Chris Romani, president of Integrity Management Consulting, a small business providing acquisition and management and consulting services.

This shift means RFPs are more competitive than ever.

Solicitations for small-business set-asides have increased 27 percent so far this year
Set-aside awards haven't caught up with solicitations
Actual set-aside contract awards, however, are down about 37 percent since October.

Read more from the special report, Private Side of Sequestration

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