Texas procurement forecast: Strong 2014 makes for bright year ahead

Published: December 10, 2014

Contract Awards

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.