Analysis of HHS Contract Spending to Date Due to COVID-19

Published: April 07, 2020

Federal Market AnalysisCoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicHHSSpending Trends

To date, $1.2B (11%) of HHS FY 2020 contract spending has been devoted to COVID-19 requirements.

Key Takeaways:

  • To date, HHS has spent $1.2B on contracts related to COVID-19 response.
  • Most of the HHS contract spending to date has stemmed from the Office of Acquisition Management and Policy ($1.1B).
  • $1B of HHS’ COVID-19 contract spending has been for medical and scientific equipment, specifically for drugs and biologicals ($630M).

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 provides HHS with over $6B in resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CARES Act allocates $150B in resources to HHS. According to Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) contract spending data, HHS shows $11.1B in total contract spending to date for FY 2020.  Of that, $1.2B or 11%, is related to contract spending for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal contracting personnel have the ability to code contract spending as a specific national interest action which in this case includes COVID-19. Due to data entry and data coding limitations, it is likely that even more HHS contract spending may be related to COVID-19 response efforts.

The charts and data below include contract spending and actions that are specifically coded as a national interest action for COVID-19 for HHS:

The HHS Office of Acquisition Management and Policy shows the highest contract spending on COVID-19 goods and services at $1.1B for FY 2020 to date.

Most of the contract spending to date would fall into the category of medical and scientific equipment, at $1B for the fiscal year. 

To break HHS spending down a little deeper, top spending has been for product service codes for drugs and biologicals; hospital and surgical clothing; and medical and surgical equipment and supplies.

Top contractors for HHS COVID-19 spending include Janssen Pharmaceuticals, 3M and Honeywell. Janssen’s contract actions show requirements for vaccine, antiviral and therapeutic assets for COVID-19. Contract requirements with 3M are predominately for N95 masks. 

For the most part, contract vehicles for HHS COVID-19 purchases are not specified in the contract data.  However, for the spending that does specify a contract vehicle, GSA professional services schedules show the most spending.  In fact, all of the spending under this schedule group is obligated to the Boston Consulting Group for consulting services to assist HHS in accelerating and scaling a cross-agency and cross-government response to the COVID-19 crisis.

HHS will continue to need contractor support to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Agency needs run the gamut, and include PPE, medical supplies and equipment, pharmaceuticals, health care staffing, construction, information technology, medical surveillance, biomedical research, and cleaning services.