GAO and the Top Government Contracting Trends

GAO and the Top Government Contracting Trends

How does the Trump administration’s proposed budget line up with recent government contracting trends? According to the latest GAO report, there’s a significant disconnect between the two that bears watching.

What Does Current Government Spending Look Like?

Last March, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released “Contracting Data Analysis — Assessment of Government-wide Trends,” commonly referred to as the Report. Contents included details on federal contract trends during the period from 2011 to 2015.

Overall federal contract spending declined nearly 24 percent, with the bulk of the change coming from a decrease in DoD spending. After spending reached its lowest level during sequestration in 2013, civilian spending bounced back while military spending continued to decrease.

Proposed Budget Changes: Increases and Cuts

A week later, the Office of Management and Budget released its “Budget Blueprint.” Among the major provisions of the blueprint was a significant increase in DoD spending with a corresponding significant decrease in civilian spending.

Specifically, the blueprint called for a $54 billion increase in defense spending, including more equipment for the Navy and Air Force. Cuts in civilian spending were proposed to allow for the boost in defense spending without increasing the national debt.

Congress is not entirely on board with the proposed cuts, so the final budget is expected to look different. Contractors who conduct business with the affected agencies are advised to pay close attention to the blueprint as it passes through the approval process.

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