Though the White House has directed federal agencies not to spend time planning for automatic spending cuts pending a post-election budget deal, many already are pondering or have taken austerity steps that affect contractors, private procurement specialists say.
“The Office of Management and Budget says it’s business as usual, which is a nice thing to say, but is impossible to do,” Beth Ferrell, a partner at the law and policy firm McKenna Long and Aldridge, said at a Monday panel staged by the nonprofit industry group TechAmerica.
Noting that many agencies already have changed their acquisition strategies, she advised federal contractors to expect agencies to plan for “sacrifices” that include furloughs, salary cuts and not replacing retirees. Agencies also might narrow the field of future contracts to those that are mission-critical, which is “in the eye of the beholder,” Ferrell said.
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