Federal agencies obligated $8.56 billion for competitively awarded contracts during fiscal 2017 through a program that is set aside for socially disadvantaged businesses, Bloomberg Government reported Monday.
The figure reflects a 24 percent increase in competitive awards under the 8(a) program since fiscal 2011, according to the report.
Contracts awarded through competition under the 8(a) program surpassed federal spending on sole-source contracts that reached $8.55 billion in fiscal 2017, which represents an 18 percent drop since fiscal 2011.
BGOV said the move from sole-source toward competitively awarded contracts is driven by congressional rules on large sole-source contracts and adoption of best-in-class and category management programs.
The report noted that federal obligations for competitive and sole-source awards through the 8(a) program reached $17.1 billion in the previous fiscal year.