Government Fiscal Year-End Spending During COVID-19

Explore an analysis of government fiscal year-end spending during COVID-19, revealing shifts in agency focus and contract awards, and how it affects the contracting space.

Government Fiscal Year-End Spending During COVID-19: Analysis and Insights

Throughout the last quarter of the government fiscal year, traditionally ranging from July 1st to September 30th, federal spending reaches its top levels - more so in September. Yet, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has stirred a sense of ambiguity into this customary pattern. Herein is an analysis rooted in the data acquired from

September Spending Spike

Historically, the last decade depicted a significant rise in contract awards during September, as they augmented by 30% to 70% in comparison to other months.

Such an annual increase is explicitly outlined in the chart of fiscal years from 2010 through 2020.

Impact of COVID-19 on Fiscal Year-End Spending

Although July and August in 2020 had fewer awards than the same months in 2019, it might not be purely the impact of the pandemic.

The reduction could also be ascribed to discrepancies in reporting data alongside the interruptions instigated by the pandemic. The full extent of the impact remains to be determined.

Changes in Agency Spending

In 2020, unlike the preceding years, the Department of Defense (DoD) is not at the helm of federal contract awards. This shift largely stems from the pandemic-centric nature of current federal spending.

Please note that the data from fiscal year 2020 is continually being updated.

Top Agencies and Sub Agencies (July-Sept 2019 vs 2020)

  • 2019 Leaders: DoD, Health and Human Services (HHS), Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), General Services Administration (GSA).
  • 2020 Shift: HHS, VA, DHS, GSA, Department of Energy (DOE) have risen to the top, mirroring the shift to healthcare and pandemic response.

NAICS Code Comparison (July-Sept 2019 vs 2020)

  1. 2019 Leading Sectors: Engineering Services, Aircraft Manufacturing, Computer Systems Design, Other Computer Related Services.
  2. 2020 Shifts: Presently, the focus has shifted to Computer Systems Design, Other Computer Related Services, Administrative Management, Facilities Support, Engineering Services.

COVID-19 Contract Awards (As of September 22, 2020)

A total of over $27 billion has been awarded to contracts related to the pandemic. The breakdown of this includes analyses of top agencies, NAICS codes, service codes, places of performance, and the size of the businesses involved.

Key Takeaways

The current pandemic has drastically shaped the pattern of government spending, with pronounced transitions in the focus of agencies and the kinds of services and products in demand.

As more comprehensive data becomes available, it will be important to keep track of these evolving trends.

Businesses should aim to align their offerings with current government priorities, particularly in sectors pertaining to health and IT services.


The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined the contours of government spending, making it essential for contractors to remain up-to-date and adapt to these changes. The increased emphasis on health services and IT solutions uncovers new opportunities, as well as challenges in the government contracting sector. With the guidance of a former GSA Schedule Reviewer, we offer unrivaled GSA Schedule Consulting services.

Pedro has extensive background as a Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist, has worked across seven federal agencies, managing contracts totaling over $1 billion in the professional and tech sectors. His notable tenure includes serving with the DoD/DARPA during the inception of their robotics program. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in initiating the Cyber Special Item Number (SIN) within the GSA's IT Schedule 70 as a Team Lead. After graduating from Harvard, he started Blackfyre to help you win your next contract.

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