Editor’s note: Sept. 30 marks the end of the 2016 federal fiscal year. As the fiscal year draws to a close, GPN got the views of Marc Vogtman on end-of-fiscal-year budget and spending trends. He is Co-founder, CFO, and Director of Operations and Analysis for GovTribe, Inc.

The firm offers federal contracting marketing intelligence. It is a single source for all available government contract information. Go to this site to view Vogtman’s complete blog post, along with comprehensive charts and a detailed analysis. A summary of Vogtman’s views on what to expect at the end of FY 2016 is below.

What to Expect at Fiscal Year End 2016

As I discussed in my blog posts at last fiscal year end, the federal government packs a large percentage of its procurements into the fourth quarter (Q4) every year. Between 35-40 percent of procurement activity takes place just between July and September. That percentage is even higher in some sectors and for some agencies. Take a look at the blog posts from last year for more detail on the agency-by-agency comparison and the NAICS code analysis. This post also addresses the end of the 2015 fiscal year.

It’s worth noting how consistent year-over-year award volumes are, both for the full fiscal year and for Q1 through Q3. Every year, civilian agencies complete approximately 64 percent of their contract awards and obligate about 65 percent of their contract dollars prior to Q4. Based on this trend, we can forecast with a high degree of confidence that civilian agencies will obligate another $48-50 billion in Q4 of FY 2016, and will award another 190,000+ new contracts.

It’s also very possible that both FY 2015 and year-to-date FY 2016 figures are underreported due to data latency. While many federal agencies have been getting better about timely reporting of contract awards and obligations, there are still new data trickling in to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS, FPDS.gov) for transactions that occurred back through the middle of last year. I would not be surprised if, by the end of this calendar year, FY 2015 civilian agency obligations increase another $1 to $1.5 billion (and new awards at about the same percentage). This would obviously also change our projections for FY 2016 in the positive direction, and would be in line with the increase we’ve been seeing in procurement solicitation volume and frequency.

Via the GovTribe blog, we’re going to be digging into other federal fiscal year-end trends and news over the next few weeks. A defense agency analysis is coming soon, as are a few posts about large and/or significant multi-award vehicles for which there is a current procurement activity. In the meantime, we encourage you to dig in to the data yourself. Our Contract Explorer allows for deeper dive analysis of agency and category trends than I can get into in a blog post. (Learn about the Contract Explorer here.)

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