As President Joe Biden’s transition team shapes their strategy and begins to implement programs needed to support economic recovery and growth, they will be laying the foundation by focusing on several key areas that federal contractors should keep an eye on.
The Biden administration transition promises to shift the dynamic of the government landscape with new focus areas and agency leadership, which will create short- and long-term implications for agency budgets and contracting priorities. Biden has ambitious plans to align budgets, policies and processes to a structured agenda.
A new report from Deltek, Impact of the Administration Transition, 2020-2021, examines the agenda of the new administration by exploring the transition process, potential changes in congressional makeup and political appointees and strategies that successful contractors have historically used to maximize opportunities and mitigate risk during a presidential transition.
The report goes into detail on five key findings related to the incoming administration:
- Near-term priorities: The Biden Administration’s near-term priorities will address a multitude of policy changes that require immediate attention, including COVID-19 response, economic recovery, national security, immigration and climate change.
- Reshaping management initiatives: The majority of IT, acquisition and process initiatives developed or expanded in the Trump administration will likely remain in some form; however, most will be rebranded or reshaped to align with Biden administration priorities.
- Small business prioritization: Small business recovery is central to Biden’s economic policy, which includes plans for additional financial resources, outreach and contracting policy changes to carve out more small business contracting opportunities.
- Alignment with new priorities: While major program changes are unlikely in the early days of a new administration, contractors should be prepared to make program adjustments on current contracts to align with new priorities, methodologies or metrics established by the new administration.
- FY 2022 federal budget: The Biden administration strategy for handling the next budget submission is unclear but, at a minimum, contractors should expect changes to budget priorities in healthcare, immigration enforcement, research and development, environmental justice and national security.
“The new administration promises increased levels of federal acquisition regulations and enforcement, including expansion in small business set-aside programs and subcontracting oversight,” said Christine Fritsch, principal research analyst for Deltek.
The Biden administration has made a point of committing to putting some muscle behind programs designed to drive small business recovery. Some of their strategies are to expand Small Business Administration programs that support underrepresented businesses, increase agency targets for Small Disadvantaged Business utilization, advocate for increased subcontracting opportunities, expand outreach and support for small business such as those in the 8(a) program, and increase small business contracting transparency.
As the new administration continues to implement its short- and long-term plans, and begins to set in place the building blocks for economic recovery, contractors should continue to track the expansion of these programs, and pay attention to research on policy changes and program updates that could inform their federal contracting strategy in 2021 and beyond.
Deniece Peterson is the director of federal market analysis at Deltek.