The Federal Government's Use-It-Or-Lose-It Spending Spree | OpenTheBooks Oversight Report 36_UOL

August 20, 2020 08:30 AM

39_UOL

CHRISTMAS COMES IN SEPTEMBER,

NOT DECEMBER, FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS.

 

TOP 10 TAKEAWAYS

 

1. BIGGEST DAYS

$23.8 billion in contracts flowed during the final two business days of the year. Monday, September 30, the last day, broke all records: $12.2 billion. Friday, September 27, the second to last business day, recorded $11.6 billion.

2. LAST 9 DAYS 

$51 billion flowed to federal contractors during the last nine days of the fiscal year – an amount that exceeded all other months (October 2018 through August 2019). The only days under $1 billion in procurement were on weekends or the Labor Day holiday.

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3. THE MONTH (SEPTEMBER)

In 2019, federal agencies spent $91 billion on 642,567 transactions – an average of $3 billion on 21,418 transactions each day. During a 2-year period, the year-end spending spree totaled $188 billion (Sept. 2018 & 2019).

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4. CRAZY SPENDING

Alcohol ($502,026); guns and ammunition at non-military, non-law enforcement agencies like HHS, VA, and ED ($1.5 million); games, toys and musical equipment including pianos, flutes, and French horns ($3.7 million); lobster tail and snow crab ($4.6 million); golf carts, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles ($6.2 million); books and pamphlets ($23 million); workout and recreation equipment ($25.1 million); batteries ($53 million); vehicles ($253.8 million); public relations and marketing ($456.8 million); and furniture ($457.8 million).

5. A 5-YEAR COMPARISON

Since 2015, federal spending in September increased by $21.7 billion (23.8%). However, the one-year trend was down – decreasing by $5.6 billion (6.2%).

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6. THE BELTWAY STIMULUS

$24.9 billion in contracts flowed into contractors located inside the D.C. Beltway (Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia). Therefore, the year-end spending spree amounted to a de facto economic subsidy for the DC beltway.

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7. TOP AGENCIES

$74.1 billion or 81% of all contract spending, happened within just 5 departments:

Defense: $57.5 billion

Health & Human Services: $5.7 billion

Veterans Affairs: $3.8 billion

General Services Administration: $3.6 billion

Homeland Security: $3.5 billion

8. TOP RECIPIENTS

$22.3 billion – or $1 in every $4 – flowed to just 10 federal contractors.

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9. TOP CATEGORIES

$28.5 billion in September contracts fell into just 10 major categories including fixed-wing aircrafts ($5.2 billion), professional support contracting ($4.4 billion), and gas turbines and jet engines ($4.4 billion). Overall, the spending was across the board and classified into 2,000 categories.

10. FOREIGN CONTRACTORS

$6.5 billion flowed to contractors located in 192 countries outside the United States (7.1%). Top-receiving countries included Germany ($692.7 million), Afghanistan ($561.3 million), Japan ($444.7 million), Canada ($212.9 million), and Saudi Arabia ($211.1 million).

 

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