Federal IT Buyers Prefer Task Order Contracts, Fixed Pricing and Vendor Diversification, According to Deltek Report

New Deltek GovWin IQ report analyzes federal IT contract data to identify trends in agency buying behavior

HERNDON, Va. – October 28, 2016 – According to a new report from Deltek, federal IT buying behavior solidifies the importance of access to agencies’ preferred task order contract vehicles.  Although flattening, agency spending through task orders represented nearly 40% of IT contract spending in FY 2015. Deltek's Insights and Observations: Federal IT Contract Award Environment report provides analysis of over 800,000 contract actions from fiscal year 2013 to 2015, as well as policies and legislation shaping IT contract awards, to provide contractors with insight into the IT contracting landscape.

Whether through schedules, task orders or the open market, agencies are gravitating to fixed price contracts, the value of which grew from $43.5 billion in FY 2014 to $44.9 billion in FY 2015. Notably, the driving force behind that increase was in the IT professional services space. Agencies are also developing strategies to diversify vendor pools. Analysis of the largest recently awarded and pending IT contract recompetes shows that agencies add new vendors more often than not, whether through an increase in the number of awards or by on-ramping during the life of the contract.


  • Contract Vehicles Remain Popular – Agency use of multiple award contracts (MACs) and Government-Wide Acquisition Vehicles (GWACs) continues to dominate overall IT spending, however the distribution of spending is highly skewed towards smaller task orders. Over 73% of task orders in FY 2015 were for $250,000 or less.
  • Competition Is Stiff – Agencies receive three to five offers on the majority of task orders, but received six or more offers on nearly 20% of task orders regardless of value.
  • Initiatives to Shorten Acquisition Cycle Taking Root – Analysis of GovWin’s opportunity database shows that the number of days between final solicitation release and award for IT contracts declined from 168 in FY 2013 to 117 in FY 2015. This may be a result of GSA and other agencies efforts to increase industry outreach to support better acquisition decision-making as well as the use of LPTA, which can speed award decisions.
  • Small Business Set-Aside IT Spending on Task Orders Outpaces Overall IT – The decline in IT task order dollars obligated with no set-aside (from $22.5 billion in FY 2014 to $22.1 billion in FY 2015) shifted entirely to the set-aside column, resulting in $7.0 billion in IT set-asides for FY 2015.


“Agencies continue to favor task contract vehicles for meeting IT services requirements, while also pushing for fixed costs.  This puts considerable pressure on service providers to manage their own costs while trying to attract the talent needed to deliver quality services.”

– Alex Rossino, Senior Principal Research Analyst, Deltek

“The relatively small value of most task orders – $250,000 or less – has made it somewhat easier for small businesses to compete on those contracts.  In FY 2013, their share of task order IT contracts was 29%. In FY 2015, that number grew to 36%. While many will argue that more small business opportunities are needed, there certainly has been good progress made already.”

Deniece Peterson, Director of Research, Deltek


According to @Deltek report, nearly 40% of #FedIT $ flow thru task order vehicles http://bit.ly/2fbzGUu

Average size of Fed task order is $442K, but majority are less than $250K. Read more from @Deltek: http://bit.ly/2fbzGUu

According to @Deltek report, Fed IT services contracts driving growth of fixed price contracts http://bit.ly/2fbzGUu

#SMB % of IT task order $ increased from 29% in FY13 to 33% in FY15. Read more from @Deltek: http://bit.ly/2fbzGUu

For more information on GovWin IQ and this report, visit the “Insights and Observations: Federal IT Contract Award Environment” page on Deltek.com/GovWin. The report is free to subscribers of GovWin’s Federal Market Analysis program.  

About Deltek

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