About Us Blog Podcast Library Daily LinkedIn Live Training Free GovCon Newsletter Member Login

Which Federal Agencies Award the Most 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts in the 4th Quarter?

8(a) sole source Jun 12, 2023

Government agencies ramp up their spending at the end of each fiscal year and this creates a spike in contract opportunities for 8(a) firms and minority-owned government contractors. 

Of the 16,116 sole-source contracts awarded in FY2022,  67% were awarded in the 4th Quarter 

In today's live training, GovCon Chamber president Neil McDonnell dove into the data on USASpending to identify which agencies are most inclined to sole source contracts to 8(a) firms in the fourth quarter.

Learn how to identify which federal agencies sole source the most to 8(a) firms; how to identify the top products and services that these agencies buy using 8(a) sole source and finally, learn Neil's step-by-step approach to finding this data.

• ✅  DOWNLOAD Neil's presentation slides

The Significance of End-of-Year Spending:

End-of-year spending is a crucial period for 8(a) firms, with approximately 50% of direct award contracts and 67% of sole source awards taking place during the fourth quarter. In the previous fiscal year, a staggering 10,000 contracts were awarded in this period, highlighting the immense potential for business growth and activity. By identifying the agencies that dominate this end-of-year spending, businesses can strategically align their efforts for maximum success.

The Power of Data:

Understanding the specific agencies that favor sole sourcing contracts to 8(a) firms is key to optimizing business opportunities. By focusing on agencies that have a high volume of end-of-year spending, businesses can ensure that their efforts are aligned with agencies most likely to award contracts. This targeted approach enables companies to make the most of their resources and increase their chances of success.

Step by Step: Find the Data on USASpending

  1. Login to USASpending.gov
  2. Start: ‘Searching Awards’
  3. Time Period: Select‘FY2022’ 
  4. Type of Set Aside: ‘8(a) Sole Source’
  5. Submit to search across all agencies
  6. Awarding Agency:Chose by department or agency (optional)
  7. More filters: NAICS code, keyword, geography etc

Understanding the Numbers:

The Department of Defense (DoD) spends significantly more than any other department, making it an attractive target for 8(a) firms. In fact, DoD spending approximately 500% more than the second-highest spender, the Department of Health and Human Services.  Additionally, the Army emerges as a clear leader within DoD, accounting for $1.2 billion in sole source 8(a) contracts.

Preparing for End-of-Year Opportunities:

While end-of-year spending can be a goldmine for businesses, it's important to note that success in this period requires careful planning. Building relationships and engaging with agencies well in advance of the fiscal year-end can yield fruitful results.

Establishing a rapport with agencies and positioning your business as a reliable partner can lead to future contract opportunities. By positioning yourself as a valuable teaming partner, even if you're not an 8(a) firm, you can still participate in the end-of-year contract frenzy.


End-of-year spending presents a unique opportunity for small businesses, especially those enrolled in the 8(a) program, to secure lucrative contracts. By analyzing the data and identifying the agencies that are most likely to sole source to 8(a) firms, businesses can strategically focus their efforts on the agencies with the highest potential for success. Furthermore, establishing relationships and planning ahead are crucial for capitalizing on end-of-year opportunities.

With careful preparation and a targeted approach, businesses can position themselves for success and tap into the significant contract spending that occurs during the fourth quarter.



• ✅  DOWNLOAD Neil's presentation slides


99% of the way there.

Stay Informed

Watch your email for the confirmation of this subscription as well as our weekly GovCon Chamber Newsletter.