Task Order Trends of the Last 5 Years in Information Technology and Professional Services

Published: December 27, 2018

Contracting TrendsInformation TechnologyProfessional ServicesTask Orders

Task Order Trends in Information Technology (5 year)

Over the last five years of new IT task order awards, the Federal Government has obligated $165B across 352 thousand task orders – with the average spend to date being right around $465K. The top 5 vehicles being used for Information Technology related task orders include GSA Schedule 70, NASA’s SEWP V, GSA’s Alliant Full and Open, NAVSEA’s SeaPort-e (of which the follow on, SeaPort NxG, recently saw announced awards), and GSA’s Professional Services Schedule (PSS). Each of these vehicles shows over $5B in reported obligations for task orders awarded in the last five years. If we were to remove the two GSA Schedules from the picture, the next two vehicles showing the highest reported spending for IT are STARS II and CIOSP3 Unrestricted. The high volume of task orders awarded via GSA Schedule 70 (112k awards) and SEWP V (54k awards) reveals their product based sales versus the other vehicles mentioned which all had under 6,000 awards in the time period.

Task Order Awards also provides figures and charts for the Top 5 Buying Organizations and Top 5 Contractors as well, and for the last 5 years of newly awarded IT task orders the Army is far and above the biggest buyer and General Dynamics Corporation takes the spot as the top contractor. One thing that stood out was the presence of Perspecta, Inc. coming in as the #5 Top Contractor in the space. If you’re not familiar with Perspecta, they were formed from DxC’s spinoff of its US Gov’t focused business and that was merged with Vencore Holdings and KeyPoint Government Solutions. DxC itself was formed by the merger of CSC and the Enterprise Services portion of HP.

Many contractors tend to focus on particular Departments, or organizations within a Department, and it is important to note the differences in preferred vehicles depending upon which organizations are analyzed. For example, if we select Army as the Buying Organization, the Top 5 Contract Vehicles change to Army R2-3G (Opp ID#38245), GSA PSS, ALLIANT Full and Open, Army CHS 4 (Opp ID#48066) and coming in 5th place is GSA Schedule 70. This also changes the other dimensions of our summary data, see the Top 5 Buying Agencies within the Army – as well as the Top 5 Contractors working with the Army, pictured below.

If we were to then select any of the Buying Org. – Agency filters for the organizations within the Army, the charts would then show the Top 5 Buying Offices inside of those agencies. The ability to drill down into organizations is critical for understanding both buying organization preferences as well as the competition and the size of their footprint within these organizations. Within some organizations, you’ll find particular contractors have a particularly large footprint, or share of spending, which should be taken into account when making teaming decisions.

As an example, within the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics and Technologies (ASA ALT) Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications Tactical (PEO C3T), we can see that General Dynamics Corporation has over four times the reported spending versus the number 2 top contractor, DRS Technologies, Inc.


Task Order Trends in Professional Services

Over the last 5 years of new Professional Services task order awards, we’ve seen $91B in obligations on approximately 96k task orders, with an average spending to date of $955K – this stands out as roughly double the average spend to date versus IT. The top programs used for these orders were GSA PSS, GSA Schedule 70, SeaPort-e, GSA OASIS Unrestricted and GSA ALLIANT F&O. Again the two GSA Schedules have both high total spending and a high volume of awards.

By looking at the top buying organizations and contractors, we can see that the Professional Services market is more competitive in the top 2 through 5 positions. In addition, versus IT, civilian organizations tend to rank higher in terms of overall spend; with both DHS and HHS showing in the top 5 Departments.

As far as the Contract Types used in this space, Firm Fixed Price was used for a little more than half of the total $91B in obligations. The other contract types that saw high usage following FFP were Cost Plus Fixed Fee, Time and Materials, Labor Hours and Cost Plus Award Fee. This roughly tracks the overall market (which includes task order awards as well as all other reported contracts), with Cost Plus Award Fee and Labor Hours trading places over the same time period.

A Note on Fiscal Cycle Analysis

Firms often like to plan around the Government fiscal year by identifying (fiscal) quarterly trends. Federal Spending Analytics provides a simple way to accomplish this kind of analysis. To set this up, search Federal Spending Analytics for the latest 5 fiscal years with a Primary Requirement selection of Professional Services and then use the Select Row for Contract Type and uncheck the box next to Buying Org Level 1. The table generated will order Contract Types by total spend over the time period, and you can divide each fiscal year by fiscal quarter, or months to dig into fiscal cycle related fluctuations. By selecting Fiscal Quarters instead of Fiscal Year(s) you will show spending data for the full 5 year range, but divided across fiscal quarters. This is pictured below.

This can reveal some interesting buying behavior that happens because of the yearly budget cycle and process – like the outsized change in Q1-3 versus Q4 for the governments use of Labor Hours, Time and Materials and Fixed Price Award Fee contract types in the end of fiscal year crunch. Each of these contract types saw an increase of over 75% for Q3 vs. Q4. This is important to take note of, as particular contract vehicles may or may not have such contract types as available options.

How the Analysis Was Completed

Deltek’s GovWin Task Order Awards solution currently spans more than 1,400 Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, GSA Schedules and contract vehicles and offers a dynamic, high-level view of the task order market while also allowing you to drill into specific details on any of the approximately 5.2 million task orders and Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) established under existing GSA Schedules and contracts. For more macro level analysis, Deltek’s new GovWin Federal Spending Analytics is a powerful tool for analyzing all reported spending and includes the ability to focus on the same contract vehicles which are in Task Order Awards using search filters and facets. The charts, figures, and analysis in this post were completed using GovWin’s Task Order Awards and Federal Spending Analytics offerings, and required no supplemental downloads or data work in MS Excel.