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Congress Passes FY 2015 Funding – Civilian Highlights, Part 1

The U.S. Congress passed an omnibus funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2015 that includes $1.1 trillion in total in discretionary federal funds, roughly half of which goes to federal civilian departments and agencies.

Federal News Radio reported that the Senate voted 56-40 late Saturday for the bill that will fund most agencies through September, the end of FY 2015. The House of Representatives had voted two days earlier on the spending measure, passing it 219-206.

The final bill removes concerns over the possibility of government shutdowns for the rest of the fiscal year and address funding for each of the agencies covered under the twelve individual appropriations bills that traditionally make their way through Congress. The only exception in full-year funding is the Department of Homeland Security, which is funded by at continuing resolution (CR) levels through Feb. 27, 2015, due to congressional concerns over White House immigration plans. Future funding will be taken up by the next Congress.


 

Department Highlights

Energy

Department of Energy funding of $27.9B supports programs across the department’s five primary mission areas: science, energy, environment, nuclear non-proliferation, and national security.

  • National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA): Funding for NNSA sees an increase of $200M over FY 2014 levels to maintain the safety, security, and readiness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. This increase brings NNSA’s funding to $11.4B for FY 2015.
  • Funding includes $8.2B for weapons activities as well as $1.2B for naval reactors. Advanced simulation and computing efforts receive $598.0M, including $50.0M for activities related to the exascale initiative.
  • Energy Programs: Support for programs that encourage U.S. competitiveness drive an increase of $22M over FY 2014 enacted levels, bringing funding for Energy Programs at DOE to $10.2B.
  • Science Research: Funding for energy science research is maintained at FY 2014 levels, providing $5,071M to strengthen innovation and support basic energy research, development of high-performance computing systems, and exploration into next generation clean energy solutions.
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E): The advanced research organization ARPA-E receives $280.0M, $45M below the level requested for FY 2015.

Commerce

Department of Commerce funding of $8.5B marks an increase of $286M above the level enacted for FY 2014.

  • Patent and Trademark Office (PTO): $3,458M for the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office, the full estimated amount of offsetting fee collection for FY 2015. The Patents and Trademark Office had nearly $651M in unobligated balances at the end of FY 2014.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): $675.5M for the scientific and technical core programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
    • This amount includes $15M for the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and up to $60.7M for cybersecurity research and development.
    • National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education receives $4M. These funds also provide $16.5M for the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), which includes up to $6M for the lab-to-market program and up to $2M for urban dome programs.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): $5,441M for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This amount includes $3,333.4M for coastal, fisheries, marine, weather, satellite, and other programs.
  • Census Bureau: $1,088M for the Bureau of the Census, which includes $840M for periodic censuses and programs.
  • International Trade Administration: $472M in total program resources for the International Trade Administration. $10M of those funds are expected to be offset by fee collection, resulting in a direct appropriation of $462M.  Of those funds, up to $9M ins for the Interagency Trade and Enforcement Center, up to $10M is for SelectUSA, and Global Markets are funded at levels at least equal to FY 2014.

Go to Part 2 of Civilian Highlights, or check out our Defense Highlights of the FY 2015 Omnibus here.

Fellow GovWin Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) analysts Kyra Fussell, Angela Petty, and Alex Rossino contributed to this entry.

Congress Passes FY 2015 Funding – Civilian Highlights, Part 2

The U.S. Congress passed an omnibus funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2015 that includes $1.1 trillion in total in discretionary federal funds, roughly half of which goes to federal civilian departments and agencies. In part 2 we’ll look at HHS, DHS, Justice and State.

Read our Civilian Highlights, Part 1.

Health and Human Services    

HHS funding is part of the broader Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriation which totals $156.8B in discretionary funding which is the same as FY 2014 enacted levels, $926M below the president’s budget request.  Deltek estimate the HHS portion of these appropriations to be $80B.  HHS highlights of the omnibus bill include the following:

  • $2.7B in emergency funding to address the Ebola crisis.
  • $3.6B for CMS management and operations, which is equal to the level put in place by sequestration and the same as the FY 2014 enacted levels.
  • $6.9B for CDC for disease prevention and bio-defense research activities, $43M above FY 2014 program level.
  • $30B for NIH, $150M above the FY 2014 level.
  • $20M to combat prescription drug abuse around the country.
  • The bill contains several provisions to protect life, continues all longstanding restrictions on abortion funding that have been included in appropriations legislation in prior years, and promotes abstinence education.
  • $17.8B in discretionary resources for the Administration of Children and Families, which is a $108M increase.
  • The bill provides no new funding for the Affordable Care Act.

Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is the only department in the Omnibus that is not receiving funding through the remainder of FY 2015, i.e. September 30, 2015.  The Omnibus funds DHS with a continuing resolution at the FY 2014 annual level of $39.3B through February 27, 2015 as media reports indicate that the Republican majority will seek to influence the implementation of the president’s recent immigration policy actions.

Justice

Department of Justice funding of $26.7B marks a reduction of $600M below FY 2014 enacted levels.

  • $25.8M for Justice Information Sharing Technology
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): $8.4B for the FBI increases resources by $93M over FY 2014 levels to support activities around counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, and human trafficking.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA):  $2.4B marks an increase of $21M over the 2014 enacted level.
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): An increase of $22M above 2014 enacted levels brings ATF funds to $1.2B for 2015.
  • National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Initiative grants: $73.0M in grants are provided to improve NICS records. These grants are expected to assist states in identifying and executing approaches to add more records to the system, particularly mental health records.
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs): New state laws promoting the increase of PDMP best practices around prescribing controlled substances maintain support for technical assistance for PDMPs, PDMP data users, and other key stakeholders.
  • Additionally, DOJ is expected to identify and report on specific metrics related to cybercrime and cybersecurity efforts that may be measured.

State and International Programs

The Department of State and USAID appropriation of $49B includes $15.7B in base and contingency funding for operational costs of the State Department and related agencies, of which $5.4B is targeted for embassy security.

  • $1.4B for USAID base and contingency funding
  • $2.5B in Ebola emergency funding
  • $8.4B in base and contingency funding for international security assistance


Go to Part 3 of Civilian Highlights, or check out our Defense Highlights of the FY 2015 Omnibus here.

Congress Passes FY 2015 Funding – Civilian Highlights, Part 3

The U.S. Congress passed an omnibus funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2015 that includes $1.1 trillion in total in discretionary federal funds, roughly half of which goes to federal civilian departments and agencies. In part 3 we’ll look at Transportation, Treasury, and the VA.

Read our Civilian Highlights, Part 2.

Transportation

Department of Transportation receives $17.8B in discretionary funding, the same as the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $4.8B below the president’s request.

  • $12.4B for the Federal Aviation Administration, $17M below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Funding is preserved for FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen) investment.
  • $1.6B for the Federal Railroad Administration, an increase of $23M above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.
  • $2.3B for the Federal Transit Administration, an increase of $141M over the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.
  • $830M in both mandatory and discretionary funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an increase of $11M over the fiscal year 2014 enacted level
  • $584M for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a decrease of $1M from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.
  • $9.1M for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
  • $186M for the Maritime Security Program, the same level in the current authorization.

Treasury

The Department of the Treasury funding is part of the Financial Services Appropriations.  Treasury’s discretionary funding totals $12.5B for FY 2015.  Treasury highlights of the omnibus bill include the following:

  • $10.9B for the IRS, a reduction of $345.6M below FY 2014 and $1.5B below the president’s request. This amount includes $290M for business systems modernization.
  • $112M for Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
  • The bill does not provide any additional funds for the IRS to implement the Affordable Care Act.
  • The bill contains several important oversight and policy provisions related to the IRS, to combat waste and increase accountability.

Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs funding is part of the broader Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations.  VA’s discretionary funding totals $65B for FY 2015.  VA highlights of the omnibus bill include the following:

  • $45.2B for VA medical services to provide care and treatment for approximately 6.7 million veterans. This includes: $7.2B in mental health care services; $133M in suicide prevention activities; $229M for traumatic brain injury treatment; $7.4B in homeless veterans treatment, services, housing, and job training; and $250M in rural health initiatives.
  • $209M to help address new costs related to the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 – such as hiring medical staff and expanding facility capacity and to implement the Caregivers Act, which provides stipends and other assistance to families of seriously wounded veterans.
  • $344M to help ensure DoD-VA EHRs that will seamlessly transfer medical information.
  • Requires the VA to create a truly interoperable, working system to help prevent unnecessary mistakes or delays in veterans’ medical care. If goals are not met, a portion of the funding will not be released.
  • $2.5B for disability claims processing backlog. This is $40M over the president’s budget request.  The increase is to be used to support digital scanning of claims, to hire additional claims processors in regional offices, and for the centralized mail initiative.
  • $99M to fund the Board of Veterans Appeals to address the looming appeals backlog.
  • $562M for major construction to correcting critical seismic deficiencies and repair crumbling infrastructure in some of the VA’s oldest structures.
  • $58.7B in advance FY 2016 appropriations for Veterans Medical Programs to provide for medical services, medical support and compliance, and medical facilities, and ensure that veterans have continued access to their medical care.

Check out our Defense Highlights of the FY 2015 Omnibus here.

Fellow GovWin Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) analysts Kyra Fussell, Angela Petty, and Alex Rossino contributed to this entry.

GovWin Recon - December 15, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts.

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Transparency and Performance:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Legislation:

Mergers and Acquisitions:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

GovWin Recon - December 12, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts.

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Health IT:

Big Data / Analytics:

Mobility:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

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State and Local:

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GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

GovWin Recon - December 11, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts.

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Transparency and Performance:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Mergers and Acquisitions:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

Texas procurement forecast: Strong 2014 makes for bright year ahead

Fiscal year 2014 was a busy one for the state of Texas, which turned out more than 3,700 solicitations – the third highest in the nation. This large number of solicitations is quite normal for the state, which has issued over 3,200 solicitations annually for the past six years, and is big on providing cooperative purchasing opportunities to local organizations. In fact, the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) currently offers over 750 cooperative purchasing contracts valued at $2.057 billion, which the DIR estimates saves taxpayers $275 million.
 
More than one-third of the solicitations released in fiscal year 2014 were for architecture, engineering, and construction requirements. Professional services solicitations were a strong second, followed by operations and maintenance, and information technology. Together, these four categories accounted for nearly 80 percent of the state’s bids this year.
This past year saw some key solicitations released, including a bid in December 2013 for data communications and networking equipment. Valued at $716 million, this was a cooperative purchasing opportunity in which the state awards multiple vendors and makes the contracts available to local agencies for their use on an as-needed basis. Another large solicitation was released in July 2014 by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for electronic benefit transfer services for the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.

When looking at solicitation release dates, it’s clear that the busiest months for procurement activity are during the summer: July, May, June, and August, respectively. This is no surprise, as the state’s fiscal year ends August 31, and procurements that have been delayed tend get pushed out at the last minute to avoid losing funding. In contrast, the slowest months for solicitation releases are November, September and December, respectively.

Looking forward, Deltek anticipates Texas to continue its strong showing in 2015, and Deltek analysts have identified key opportunities to monitor in the coming months as procurement activity picks back up.

Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet): Valued at $6.588 million, the next-generation 911 (NG911) network has been in development for several years and plays an integral role in the delivery of emergency services to state residents. The project has several related solicitations, including an NG911 mapping system (solicited January 2014), an automatic location identification database management system (solicited May 2014), and 911 call-handling service (expected in 2015). ESInet is expected to be solicited within the next 2-4 months, as the funds allocated to the project must be obligated prior to the end of the current fiscal year.

Medicaid Management Information System Service Integrator (MMIS): Accenture currently serves as the MMIS provider for the Texas HHSC, but in preparation for the state’s MMIS modernization, the HHSC plans to break out the contract into smaller pieces, with a service integrator serving as a project management office that will provide oversight management to support the MMIS modernization project.

Branded hardware, software, and related services: While a number states utilize the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) Computer Equipment, Peripherals and Related Services contract for their IT hardware needs, Texas has several contracts in place for various name-brand IT hardware and software product lines, such as Apple, IBM, Panasonic, Oracle, and Dell. Each of these solicitations is released separately and the resulting contracts are made available to state and local agencies as well as educational institutions.

Harris County, Houston, San Antonio, and Texas A&M University, all of which are increasing their annual expenditures by up to 7 percent. Given the state’s proclivity to cooperative purchasing, the already large state contracts have even higher usage when local entities are added on to the spending and utilization. This boosts contract values and makes investments in doing business with the state worthwhile.  

Deltek is tracking numerous opportunities in Texas with solicitations expected within the next 18 months and beyond. In fact, of the more than 25 opportunities tracked by Deltek, more than 10 of them are not expected to be solicited until 2016 or later. This means that Texas offers a great deal of business development opportunities for both the near and long-term, and is a good location to expand if your business is not already active in the state.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in Texas in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

 

FY 2015 Appropriations Plan is on the Horizon...Hopefully

On December 9, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees released their Consolidated and Further
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 bill, 2 days shy of the expiration of the Continuing Resolution (CR).  While the $1.1trillion dollar discretionary budget appropriations package is good news, there are still a few steps in the process before it becomes law, which means that there is likely to be another short-term CR passed in the next 24 hours to give Congress enough time to push the bill through.

The omnibus currently sits at the committee level in both the House and Senate.  Now, the full House and Senate must pass each version, followed by the House-Senate conference committee hammering out any differences to agree on a final version that goes to President Obama for his signature.

The good news is that there is informal agreement about funding levels for each appropriation bill, including a plan for a CR to only fund the Department of Homeland Security through February 27, 2015.  The omnibus funding levels are compared to the President’s Budget Request below:

The House and Senate versions of the omnibus also show agreement on funding (or lack thereof) and oversight in several high-profile areas, including:

  • No additional funding for Obamacare   
  • Increased funding to address backlog in VA’s disability claims processing (+$69M compared to FY 2014)
  • Increased oversight of VA construction expenditures and audits of hospital scheduling and patient care
  • No DHS funding allocated to addressing “the humanitarian crisis of children and families with children crossing our Southwest border”
  • No DHS funding allocated to addressing lapses in White House security
  • IRS-specific policy provisions:
    --Funding prohibition for inappropriate videos and conferences
    --Funding prohibition on target organizations for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs or for exercising their First Amendment rights
    --Funding prohibition for improperly disclosing confidential taxpayer information
    --Funding prohibition for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization
    --A requirement that the agency report on spending and activities, official time and document retention.


The bad news is that, while there is a general consensus that another government shutdown is off the table, the broad scope of the bill provides ample fodder for Congressional contingents to oppose various pieces of the bill. 

According to this Politico.com article, some lawmakers are opposed to the bill because it does little to block President Obama’s plans on immigration reform, others because it doesn’t cut enough spending, and others because they simply haven’t had time to examine its contents.    

Budget uncertainty is the monkey wrench of the procurement process, so the sooner agency leadership has clarity around their fiscal circumstances for the remainder of the fiscal year, the better.

 

GovWin Recon - December 10, 2014

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts.

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Health IT:

Waste, Fraud and Abuse:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

Predictive Analytics Use at the Department of Defense

 

Back in September, an organization at the National Defense University called the Center for Technology and National Security Policy published a research paper entitled Policy Challenges of Accelerating Technological Change: Security Policy and Strategy Implications of Parallel Scientific Revolutions. Looking past the long title, one finds an in-depth consideration of the implications of emerging technologies for U.S. national security and the DoD. Considering the CTNSP is part of the defense establishment, I believe it is worth taking a few minutes to examine what the authors say, particularly since their comments fit seamlessly with the recently announced Defense Innovation Initiative (DII). Papers like this can point to areas of investment and in a time of falling budgets, any insight is welcome.

The report discusses more subjects than I can cover here, so in today’s post I’ll zero in on its comments about big data analytics. Use of big data analytics in the DoD is nothing new. In fact, based on recent contract spending data (see chart below), we can see that defense customers spent nearly $138 million on big data analytics over the five years from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2014.

 

Big data analytics in this context are defined as advanced analytics programs offering visualization and modeling capabilities that enable statistics-based prediction/forecasting. Think Mathematica, MATLAB, Splunk, Statistica, Tableau, etc. and you have an idea of the programs included in this data.

According to the CTNSP report, employing these kinds of analytics on a vastly greater scale will be the key to controlling and exploiting the data that defense organizations will be gathering from the expansion of unmanned systems, robotics, and the Internet Protocol-enabled “Internet of Things.” The uses for such analytics include the analysis of intelligence data, cyber security, and the transition to a “health maintenance-based, rather than a disease-based medical model,” that will enhance the operational readiness of U.S. military personnel. The report’s recommendations have a clear implication – that the DoD should greatly ramp up its spending on predictive analytics and the training of its personnel to use them.
In recent years, however, just the opposite has been taking place. Examining the data presented above from the perspective of spending per fiscal year (see chart below), we see that defense spending on PA peaked at $42 million in FY 2012 and has declined since.

Undoubtedly the recent pressure placed on DoD’s budget by sequestration is the primary reason for reduced spending on PA. The question is will this trend continue. My guess would be no, for the simple reason that the DoD cannot afford to neglect developing its PA capabilities. To do so at a time when more data is coming at defense analysts than ever before would be folly. Add the increasing use of automated systems to the mix and the answer is obvious – the DoD must spend more on PA. Currently the department is in a period of retrenchment as it struggles with new budget realities. Once this retrenchment has run its course, defense customers are likely to turn their attention back to acquiring PA capabilities. The DII points the way forward in this respect and for industry partners it’s a welcome signpost of spending ahead.

 

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