2018 Federal Government Contracting – Under a Lens

With a number like $550 billion, how could you not be intrigued? Whether you are a curious tax-paying citizen or you are in the government contracting business, it is important to stay current on what the government is spending money on, and who got the money. With that being said, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a snapshot of Fiscal 2018’s Federal Government Contracting numbers, so let us have a look.

At a glance, the Department of Defense spent the lion’s share, totaling about $358.3 billion in discretionary spending with the Navy being its largest contributor. Civilian federal agencies did measure up, however, spending approximately $195.8 billion. Some notable agencies scoring high in the spending column included the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Health and Human Affairs (HHS), the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Department of Energy. Federal agency contracts for goods and services accounted for 40% of the governments discretionary spending.

Small businesses saw a good portion of the money spent in fiscal 2018. To promote small business participation in federal contracting, there is a government-wide goal to award around a quarter of contract dollars to small businesses. In 2018, one quarter amounted to approximately $124.2 billion, with $52 billion going to civilian agencies, and $72.2 awarded to defense agencies.

The amount of money spent annually in federal government contracting has risen around $100 billion since 2015. Given the current trend, it seems likely that these figures will continue to grow, leading to more opportunities for those in the contracting business, and especially for small businesses.


Federal Government Contracting for Fiscal Year 2018 (infographic)