Federal IT spending is on the rise, although annual spending through the General Service Administration’s multiple award schedule contracts declined for the first time in a decade, according to government business analysts Input.
This GSA schedule, known as Schedule 70, gives agencies direct access to commercial vendors for IT equipment, software, and services. It currently covers more than 5,000 contracts and accounts for more than a third of overall government IT procurement.
Schedule 70 spending for FY2005 slipped 2% to $16.5bn from a high of $16.8bn the year before. Spending had been increasing 15% annually on average for the past five years, the report states.
This reversal won’t take much toll on Schedule 70, according to James Krouse, Input’s acting director for public sector market analysis. However, it comes during a year in which total federal IT spending is still increasing, so this represents a shift specifically away from the schedules as a procurement channel and not a general decline in the market, Krouse said.
Moreover, the Schedule 70 decline was the result of a drop in equipment spending; software and services spending under the schedule increased during FY2005, Input said.