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Resources for Doing Some Government Contracting Detective Work

Sep 02, 2011

Have you ever wondered how much money the Federal government spends in Wyoming, or what types of products or services a particular Federal agency buys? It's not as hard as you might think to find out!


The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR 4.6) require agencies to report all contracts for $3,000 or more, and all modifications to these contracts, to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). FPDS allows users to access standard reports without registering, but registered users can access more detailed information. Either way, the information is free.


An FPDS standard report shows that during the 2010 federal fiscal year (10/01/09 - 9/30/2010), the government spent nearly $400 million on contracts where the place of performance was Wyoming. Of this, 70% of the dollars, just over $281 million, went to small businesses (this includes awards to out-of-state firms doing business in Wyoming). During the same period, the government spent $124.7 million on contracts where the vendor location was Wyoming. Of this, 82% of the dollars, $102.5 million, went to small businesses. Whichever way you look at it, the federal marketplace offers tremendous opportunity to Wyoming firms.


If you spend some time learning how to use FPDS (see the Quick Start Guide), you’ll be able to run more complex reports. You can do detective work on your competitors and find out how much they received in awards from a particular agency or during a given time period. You can also research the types of products and services different agencies purchase, by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code or Product Service Code. Many other reports are available as well. is another free site for researching procurement data. It pulls data from FPDS and other sources, and provides information about contracts as well as grants, loans, and direct payments. It doesn’t offer as many report options as FPDS, but it has a more user-friendly interface.

When you are trying to determine whether the federal government buys the types of products or services that you offer, FPDS and can be great places to start. If you try to access these systems, and find them confusing, don’t worry – the Wyoming PTAC can help! Contact us here. Our services are free and confidential, and we often use GoToMeeting™ to see our clients’ computer screens (with their permission), which makes working collaboratively on research like this quick and easy!


Have you ever tried accessing FPDS or Were you able to find useful information, or not?


Amy Lea


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