High dollar opportunities indicate contracting delays

Deltek annually publishes a list of the top 20 federal opportunities for the coming fiscal year, as these high-dollar opportunities can serve as a barometer for what is happening across the federal market.

The good news is that three-quarters of these top opportunities are moving forward. However, the majority of those opportunities have seen their solicitation release dates delayed.

The remaining few are at a bit of a standstill. For some, solicitation dates have slipped into fiscal 2014, and others have had little to no procurement activity since October.

Here is a look at how some of the most anticipated programs are doing:

On track

The Pentagon’s Homeland Defense and Security Area Tasks is the only solicitation of the top 20 that has been released — but a projected May award date has been delayed seven months.

This month, Deltek expects a solicitation release for NASA’s Center Maintenance Operations and Engineering program and a draft request for proposals for the Navy’s Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services’ full deployment production unit contract. A final solicitation for CANES is planned for April.

Slipped

Draft solicitations for the Air Force’s Training Systems Acquisition III — known as TSA III — and the Department of Homeland Security’s BiowatchGen3 came out in January.

The draft solicitation for NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement V program is expected this month.

The General Services Administration’s One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services draft request for proposals is expected any day.

Standstill

The Pentagon’s Global Network Services program, the Army’s Energy Saving Performance Contracts III and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Marketing Communications Services programs are in a holding pattern.

Also not moving is the Education Department’s Common Services for Borrowers programs. Vendors watching this program may want to reconsider, as the contracting office is reported to be in discussions with Xerox about the incumbent contract. A recompete decision has not been made.

Still, there are signs of new opportunities. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Air Force are both releasing solicitations, anticipated to offer a combined $15 billion in new business opportunities in fiscal 2013.

Jennifer Sakole is a principal analyst at Herndon-based Deltek, which conducts research on the government contracting market and can be found at www.deltek.com.

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