The End of Fiscal Year 2022 is Fast Approaching — Monument Advocacy’s Julie Dunne, Former Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at GSA, Shares Tips for Contracting Success

Every September, contracting professionals and industry gear up to help the government buy goods and services before the fiscal year ends on September 30. Typically, the government obligates a significant portion of their annual appropriations in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. In fact, over the last five years, the government has spent about 30 percent of their annual funding in the fourth quarter.

Part of the reason for this rush of activity in the fourth quarter stems from how the annual appropriations process works, or rather, does not work. Congress has not approved all 12 appropriations bills on time since 1996, which means there are funding gaps that must be addressed with continuing resolutions (CR). Without passed annual appropriations bills, CRs passed before the end of the fiscal year ensure there is no gap in funding, and no government shutdowns, as they maintain funding in a new fiscal year at the same level as the prior year. This means agencies are limited in their ability to start new work and cannot increase their spending above the prior fiscal year amount.

The end of the fiscal year provides both a challenge and an opportunity for industry trying to help agencies satisfy their requirements. In order to be most successful as September winds down, industry should keep the following tips in mind: (1) know your customer; (2) know your targets’ specific funding situation; and (3) know what contract vehicle options are most effective.

Know Your Customer

Knowing your customer starts with understanding the larger policy and operational environment for agencies.

Policy Environment

  • Since January 2021, the Administration has issued several Executive Orders that have had significant impacts on procurement.

Operational Environment

  • Contracting professionals and program offices have multiple work streams of increasing importance as the fiscal year ends.

Know the Funding Situation

Keeping in close contact with your customer and being aware of specific funding streams available for contracts can be useful in identifying opportunities and knowing how to prioritize.

  • Under U.S. fiscal law, government funding money is not fungible and, in fact, there are different “colors” of money.

Know Contract Vehicle Options

As the fiscal year ends, it is important to identify contract options to make agencies’ contracting professionals’ jobs easier.

  • Agencies may be more inclined to use particular contract vehicles to simplify their work, including governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWAC). GWACs can provide a sort of “easy” button at the end of the fiscal year as there are pre-vetted vendors.

The pressures of the closing month of the fiscal year are intense. Industry can survive and thrive by knowing your customers, the funding situation, and available contract options. Such an approach will help identify opportunities in a challenging environment.

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Monument Advocacy

Monument Advocacy is a bipartisan government relations, strategic communications and public affairs consulting firm.