Federal Acquisition Landscape: Trends and Issues, 2018

Published: August 31, 2018

Federal Market AnalysisAcquisition ReformAcquisition WorkforceContracting TrendsPolicy and Legislation

Deltek’s Federal Acquisition Landscape: Trends and Issues, 2018 report examines trends, policies and legislation shaping federal contractors' ability to navigate the acquisition environment.

From the White House to Congress, pressure is growing to streamline how federal agencies purchase billions of dollars in goods and services. Burdensome procurement rules are hindering the efficient acquisition of commercial services and capabilities that agencies need to accomplish their increasingly complex missions. Given its scope, Department of Defense acquisition processes are under close scrutiny, leading to new reforms, procurement methods and organizational structure. The President’s Management Agenda is similarly shaping changes in civilian agency acquisitions, from category management, IT modernization and acquisition workforce improvements. Meanwhile, concerns about supply chain and cybersecurity 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

  • Defense Acquisition Reform Changes the Procurement Landscape. DOD is using a variety of new contracting methods to speed the integration of commercial technology. These new methods are challenging contractors to form new business partnerships and offer solutions via new avenues like e-commerce portals and online marketplaces.
  • Innovation in Contracting. DOD’s use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for IT is growing, with spending via OTAs up 85% from FY 2016 to 2017. Civilian agencies like GSA and HHS are leveraging emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to speed acquisition processes.
  • Category Management. The administration is leveraging Category Management principles to reduce contract duplication and streamline contract and spend management. Agencies will be under scrutiny to funnel an increasing amount of IT spending through established Best-of-Class contracts to take advantage of pricing and management standardization, making contract positioning even more critical.
  • Security Compliance. Cybersecurity and supply chain security remain top of mind for agencies. New DOD/NIST rules and emerging rules from GSA and DHS significantly raise the profile of security compliance in acquisitions.
  • Critical Insight for Vendors

    Deltek's Federal Acquisition Landscape: Trends and Issues, 2018 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: Trends and Issues report is delivered in PowerPoint® format, including a PowerPoint® Executive Briefing, and an Excel® data workbook.




  • Budget Environment
  • Contract Spending Trends, FY 2015-2017
  • Trends in RFP Timelines
  • Defense Acquisition Reform
  • Civilian Innovative Acquisition Approaches
  • Improving Pricing Transparency and Analysis
  • Bid Protest Environment
  • Security in Acquisitions
  • President’s Management Agenda
  • Small Business Issues and Concerns
  • Open FAR Cases to Watch
  • Conclusions and Recommendations