Top 20 Contracts In 2007 Worth $118 Billion

The total value of the top 20 contracts in 2007 is less than half the value of those in 2006, with an average ceiling of $6 billion, according to a report released by Reston, Va.-based research firm Input.

Contractors will compete for $118 billion in the top 20 contracts alone in 2007, with most opportunities coming from the Army, General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Contracts range from $50 million from the GSA Alliant contract to the $200 million Next Generation Identification System (NGI) program from the Department of Justice.

"In general, there has been a trend away from GSA GWACs [government-wide acquisition contracts] to service-specific IDIQ [Indefinite Delivery - Indefinite Quantity] contracts," says David Kriegman, president of Vienna, Va.-based Command Federal. "GSA will try to regain some of their lost customers. With the push to service and agency-specific [procurement vehicles], the contracting officers in those agencies may get to be overworked, in which case there may be a movement back to GSA to some extent."

And while Alliant may carry the highest dollar value, it consolidates the wide-ranging ANSWER and Millenia governmentwide acquisition contracts, as well as aspects of other vehicles; this trend in federal contracts translates to fewer opportunities to go around and a more competitive landscape for solution providers.

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In addition to Alliant and NGI, Input lists the following contracts as those carrying the most substantial value in 2007:

&OPTARSS II ($30 billion);
&Alliant Small Business ($30 billion);
&Project Support Solutions ($10.8 billion);
&HUBZone GWAC ($2.5 billion);
&ITSS III ($2 billion);
&I-Assure II ($1.5 billion);
&IRS A76 Seat Management Services ($1 billion);
&Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Wireless ($1 billion);
&Operation of Information Assurance Technical Analysis Center ($750 million);
&SETAC-07 ($605 million);
&Business System Transformation ($500 million);
&DFISS III ($475 million);
&Movement Tracking System II ($400 million);
&Service Center Operations Support ($$325 million);
&Professional IT Services Bundle A ($300 million);
Professional IT Services Bundle B ($300 million);
&Integrated Commercial Intrusion Detection System IV ($250 million);
&IT Support for Automated Consular Systems ($250 million); and
&Next Generation Identification System ($200 million).

"I'm not sure that I necessarily agree with the whole list, [but] there are a couple trends," says Sean Burke, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Govplace. "Agency-specific contracts are on the rise, and new agencies are moving and changing contract vehicles. A large driver is the Department of Homeland Security."

Contracts notably absent include First Source for commodity purchasing ($3 billion) and Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement (SEWP) IV ($5.6 billion), Burke says.

Beyond changes in procurement processes, the largest contracts reflect growing momentum in particular areas of technology. OPTARSS II, for example, which provides management and support services for warfighter operations, emphasizes the need for simulation services, and Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Wireless stands as one example of how government seeks to establish standards in wireless solutions -- an area that currently remains very fragmented, according to the report.

The federal government will be very conscious to divvy opportunities to small businesses, both through subcontracting requirements as well as set-aside vehicles. Alliant Small Business, the largest set-aside contract announced for the year, carries a $15 billion ceiling for a potential 10 years, and the HUBZone GWAC provides opportunities to small firms located in historically underutilized business zones.