At a time of sequestration and reduced contracting governmentwide, several agencies bucked the trend and awarded more in contracts, as disclosed earlier this month in the annual top 200 contractors listing compiled by Bloomberg Government.
The departments that increased their contracting the most in fiscal 2013 were: Education (a 27 percent increase over fiscal 2012); Treasury (a 16.4 percent increase); and Housing and Urban Development (a 9.5 percent increase).
When asked by Government Executive to account for the rises, the agencies offered a variety of responses related to their differing missions.
An Education spokesman said, “Because we made many more Direct Loans (and took on the servicing for many guaranteed loans under the emergency Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans during the recession), our servicing work has jumped.”
The Treasury Department’s spike “was driven by a $1.1 billion increase in contract obligations for metals by the U.S. Mint,” a spokesman said. “Mint metal purchases are partly driven by coin demand and metal prices. Other than increases due to metal purchases for coins, Treasury contracts declined [by more than] 4 percent year over year.”
A HUD spokesman said, “Our largest contracts are related to the housing crisis, marketing and management contracts for [the Federal Housing Administration] and contracts supporting Ginnie Mae.”