I realize that my blog focus thus far has been very DoD-centric. This is not an uncommon disorder for those of us focused on federal contracting, but it is no excuse. I’ll beg forgiveness with a down payment on a quick look at a great opportunity with the Department of State or just “State” for short. State has a substantial amount of brick-and-mortar infrastructure in need of constant maintenance, upgrades, expansions, etc. One of the more significant contracts to support this vast network of buildings is called Worldwide Design Services.
Until diplomacy can be carried out entirely by teleconference calls, Twitter and emails the buildings will remain as an important enabler of State’s operation. This is something worth further consideration.
The architects and engineers out there can read the old RFP to get some scope of work details. In short you will find a pretty broad set of typical A & E needs. The good news about this opportunity is you have some time to consider this pursuit. The incumbent contracts expire in July 2013. Plan for a RFP release in late 2012 (more likely early 2013) barring the expected sequestration doomsday scenario. Regardless of what plays out in Washington, DC the facilities will not go away. There will be a need for A & E services.
If you’re wondering who at State runs this opportunity it is the Office of Buildings Operations (OBO). Our friends at OBO have a (in)famous reputation in terms of their relationship with contractors, but that is more of a point-of-view. Regardless, OBO is the beating heart of State’s building infrastructure around the world. If you’re in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) business and you want to deal with State, you really need to get to know OBO. Let’s consider State’s spending on AEC services since FY2008.
|Contract Obligations by Fiscal Year|
|Architectural & Engineering Services||$80,056,951||$124,823,587||$448,208,759||$167,449,490||$112,529,423|
|Facilities Maintenance and Renovation||$46,804,423||$40,093,418||$46,373,137||$55,911,251||$34,107,097|
|Total State Contracted Spending||$6,186,459,908||$7,464,812,288||$8,140,987,133||$9,158,427,150||$3,385,927,477|
|% of spending on AEC||16%||20%||24%||25%||8%|
|* spending still in progress with up to a 90-day delay in reporting|
State increased its AEC related spending significantly through 2011 although construction spending looks to be pretty sluggish. However, A & E services continue to stay steady. 2010 spending fueled a lot of the design work was put into motion in 2011. Let’s consider State’s Worldwide Design Services contract spending against all State A & E spending.
|Contract Obligations by Fiscal Year|
|AEC Design Services Worldwide||$8,649,737||$37,102,527||$60,287,569||$45,800,104||$15,917,373|
|Architectural & Engineering Services TOTAL||$80,056,951||$124,823,587||$448,208,759||$167,449,490||$112,529,423|
|AEC Design Services Worldwide Share of Overall State A & E Spending||11%||30%||13%||27%||14%|
While the spending on Worldwide Design Services was spiky in comparison to total State A & E spending, it remains a fairly solid play to have access to supporting State’s brick-and-mortar infrastructure needs. Let’s take a further look at who’s who in the Worldwide Design Services Zoo.
|Contractor||TOTAL||% of TOTAL|
|Moore Ruble Yudell, Inc.||$25,868,210||15%|
|Yost Grube Hall Architecture, Inc.||$24,017,448||14%|
|Karn, Charuhas Chapman & Twohey, PC||$23,805,284||14%|
|Davis Brody Bond, LLP||$19,181,770||11%|
|Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Architects, LLP||$17,698,662||11%|
|DMJM H&N, Inc. (now part of AECOM)||$16,396,022||10%|
|Smith Group, Inc.||$13,327,775||8%|
|Swanke, Hayden Connell, Ltd.||$0||0%|
An interesting aspect of this contract is the relatively even spread of work across the contractors. This is even the case with some years being better than others. All things considered almost all contractors have received a relatively steady flow of tasks. This is not typical of most multiple award IDIQ contracts. Most multiple award contracts – whether it has 5, 10 or 100 contractors – there are the haves and the have nots. This spending trend shows almost a parity contract – just about everyone gets a turn to work.
- If you consider total A&E spending for State, this group of contracts is the single largest group of spending outside of individual contracts issued for similar services
- The work here gets you good access to a fairly steady set of A & E task orders
- This is no doubt a strong group of A & E firms, but with no clear favorite son this might be worth exploring for challengers
- Make OBO happy as a part of their trusted A & E contractors and you have a great chance to keep fairly steady work on their sprawling worldwide enterprise
- Even if you’re not ready to enter the melee (the last RFP received 31 offers) you might have a specific role for someone else to obtain some work in an area of solid funding
Stay tuned to the Department of State to learn more about the opportunity as it unfolds this summer.
As always, stay focused and do your homework. There are some great opportunities out there. Good hunting!