In what could be the largest purchase order of computer tablets by the government ever, the Air Mobility Command has announced they are proposing to buy over 18,000 Apple iPads for pilots and flight crews of the U.S. Air Force, according to Bloomberg. Unlike private airlines, who by now are all switching to tablets, Air Force crews are still lugging around 40 pounds of manuals and navigation charts. Although the government tends to drag its feet when it comes to adapting to new technologies, the US Government has had little hesitation in adopting Apple's products and services, according to the Government Contracting Tips blog. In fact, over $25 million in contracts were awarded for Apple products throughout 2011.
During the last fiscal year, USASpending has recorded over $1.1 million in contracts awarded to Apple Inc. by various Federal Government agencies. During September alone, over 25 federal government contracts were signed with various government agencies for everything ranging from IPads to Macbooks to OSX Maintenance. Even a purchase for iTunes cards was made by the Small Business Administration during September.
Despite shrinking federal budgets, this data proves that IT contractors and technical services firms should expect to see even further growth in government contract awards throughout the remainder of the fiscal year. A report on the Federal Procurement Data System shows over 12% of government contracts were awarded for Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, second only to Electronics, Computer and Transportation Equipment Manufacturing. With the Obama Administration's push for agencies to adopt cloud computing, provide more transparency to tax payers and allow more federal employees to engage in telework, IT government contractors in particular should expect significant growth during 2012.
On December 8th, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, was launched in an effort to allow more federal agencies to adopt cloud services which meet federal security standards. This and other factors, such as increased telework by federal employees and greater utilization of the web to provide government transparency to tax payers, has helped the information technology industry remain strong even during an economic downturn. Despite uncertainty in future government spending and procurement, experts all agree that professional, scientific and technical services, especially information technology related services, will remain in high demand by federal agencies.
“This past fiscal year we saw the highest number of contracts awarded to these firms,” said Eric Knellinger, President of US Federal Contractor Registration. “IT contractors, translators, engineers, lawyers, architects and researchers were awarded over $146 billion in federal contracts during 2011.”
In order to be considered eligible for any federal government contracts, firms must complete the required registration. This includes obtaining a D&B number and completing CCR registration and ORCA filing. Additional registration forms may be required for individual agencies and contracting vehicles. Small businesses can get immediate contracting help by calling the Contractor Helpline toll free at (877) 252-2700 ext 1. A Placement Specialist can then help them find current contracting opportunities, purchasing trends for federal agencies and review their registration for errors that could impact their ability to win government contracts.
Posted over the last 30 days, there are over 1,064 opportunities listed for professional, scientific and technical services firms on the FedBizOpps website, which lists federal contracting opportunities valued at $25,000 or higher. Federal contracting opportunities are not limited to large businesses only; 212 of those listings are set aside solely for various small business concerns.
US Federal Contractor Registration is a third party registration firm that has helped thousands of businesses complete their CCR registration and bid on contracts. For more information, call the Contractor Helpline at (877) 252-2700 ext 1 or visit their website https://www.uscontractorregistration.com/.