Federal Acquisition Landscape, 2021

Published: August 27, 2020

Federal Market AnalysisAcquisition ReformContract Awards

Deltek’s Federal Acquisition Landscape, 2021 report examines trends, policies and legislation shaping the procurement of goods and services by U.S. government agencies.

From the White House to Congress to the General Services Administration, efforts continue to streamline the strategies and processes federal agencies use to purchase billions of dollars in goods and services each year. Outdated and burdensome procurement rules hinder the efficient acquisition of solutions and capabilities that agencies need to accomplish their increasingly complex missions. Given its size and scope, the Department of Defense’s acquisition processes are under close scrutiny by the administration and Congress alike, leading to new reforms and procurement methodologies designed to improve everything from initial requirements development and market research to contract award. The President’s Management Agenda is similarly shaping changes in civilian agency acquisitions with initiatives such as category management, contract consolidation, IT modernization and acquisition workforce improvements. Compounding these challenges, concerns about cybersecurity and supply chain risk and resiliency are adding complexity to reform efforts, contributing to an acquisition environment that is constantly shifting, presenting challenges to large and small businesses alike.

Key Findings

  • Signs of a healthy contracting market are sustained, although the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the contracting run rates and new acquisitions are still unfolding. The speed of COVID response procurement may set the stage for future acquisition flexibilities.
  • Supply chain security is a major thrust of current acquisition reform initiatives, impacting every aspect of the contracting landscape. From the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and audits of contractor systems protections, to removing/replacing untrusted hardware and software from federal systems, contractors must implement federal standards to continue their federal business lines.
  • Defense and civilian agencies continue to roll out acquisition reform initiatives. The DOD’s new Adaptive Acquisition Framework is designed to facilitate faster delivery of new and emerging technology capabilities, and OMB’s “Frictionless Acquisitions” goal will drive process improvement and increased visibility into acquisitions.
  • Category Management (CM) is streamlining federal acquisitions of common commodity products and services to eliminate redundancies and increase efficiency. Contractors should assess the implications of agency efforts to migrate demand to contracts managed under category management principles.
  • Small business participation and performance continue to receive focus by OMB, DOD and others. Efforts to increase small business participation as primes will also be accompanied by greater consideration of small business past performance.

    Critical Insight for Vendors

    Deltek's Federal Acquisition Landscape, 2021 report outlines the developments in agency acquisition processes and methodologies impacting federal contractors’ business development strategies. The rapidly evolving federal marketplace is complicating the procurement environment, presenting challenges that vendors must navigate to be successful.

    The report provides:

  • Review of recent DOD acquisition reform initiatives.
  • Insight into DOD’s use of Commercial Solution Openings and Other Transaction Agreements.
  • Analysis of contracting trends, such as contract spending, RFP-to- award timelines and small business issues.
  • Examination of the cumulative impact generated by years of legislative changes to agency procurement practices.
  • Assessment of agency concerns about industry supply chains and cybersecurity and how these are helping to reshape federal acquisitions.
  • Insight into innovative acquisition methods being used by civilian agencies to improve procurement outcomes.
  • Analysis of bid protest trends and how these are affecting the market.
  • Assessment of the impact of initiatives like the President’s Management Agenda and GSA’s Category Management are having on agency procurement practices.
  • Deltek's Federal Acquisition Landscape, 2021 report is delivered in PowerPoint® format, including a PowerPoint® Executive Briefing, and an Excel® data workbook.



  • Introduction
  • Budget Environment
  • Contract Obligation Trends
  • Trends in RFP Timelines
  • Defense Acquisition Reform
  • Civilian Acquisition Reform
  • Acquisitions Security
  • Competition in Contracting
  • Contracting Reporting and Transparency
  • Innovation and Technology in Acquisitions
  • Acquisition Workforce
  • Conclusions and Recommendations