Agency contract spending down 3.5 percent, study of top 200 says

Tischenko Irina/

Federal contract spending in today’s climate of austerity fell 3.5 percent in fiscal 2011, to $532.6 billion from a 28-year high of $552 billion in fiscal 2009, according to the first annual study of the top 200 contractors compiled by Bloomberg Government, released on Friday.

The top 200 companies accounted for almost two-thirds of total federal procurement dollars, with the highest amount for unclassified contracts going to Lockheed Martin Corp., which has been No. 1 on the list since 1995.

Among agencies, the Pentagon as usual dominated the dollar awards, giving out 70 percent of total federal procurement dollars, while the remaining 30 percent was split among 56 agencies.

The top category of contract was that for professional services, followed by research and development, construction, aerospace and technology.

After Lockheed Martin ($42.9 billion in sales), the top companies were Boeing Co. ($22.1 billion), General Dynamics ($19 billion), Raytheon Co. ($14.4 billion) and Northrop Grumman Corp. ($12.8 billion)

Within Defense, seven out of 10 prime contract dollars were allotted by the Army, Navy, Air Force or one of 21 other military sub-agencies. The top awarder was the Army, which spent $125.3 billion in fiscal 2011, or a third of Defense awards.

Among civilian agencies, the largest share of a $158.4 billion total was incurred by the Energy Department, much of it for research laboratories and cleanup of former nuclear weapons production sites. The second highest-spending agency was the Health and Human Services Department, with $19 billion, mostly for contracts with pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Bloomberg Government’s 69-page study lists contracts by agency and category. It notes that the Obama administration's fiscal 2013 budget proposal projects a $17 billion decline in contract spending from fiscal 2011 through 2013.

(Image via Tischenko Irina/

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