Competition Report FAQ

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Why is there a new competition report?

The goal of the new competition report is to:

  • Create a better management tool for agencies by more accurately measuring competition on both contracts and orders
  • Generate an easier to understand summary of competitive and non-competitive activity for agencies and the public


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How does the new report improve data accuracy?

Data accuracy is improved in two ways:

  1. First, the new report measures competition at both the contract level and, for multiple award contracts, the order level. Orders issued under multiple award contracts are only considered competed if fair opportunity was given.
  2. Second, agencies must identify whether they used competition. Agencies were not required to submit competition information prior to an FPDS system change in October 2010. As a result, agencies did not report competition on nearly $15 billion of contract obligations in FY 2009. However, after the system change, this amount dropped to roughly $4 billion in FY 2010.

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How does the new report make it easier for agency managers and the public to track and analyze competition?

The new report summarizes and categorizes all contracting activity as either competed or not competed. Under the old report, it was difficult for users to immediately differentiate competitive and noncompetitive dollars and actions.

With the new report, users can click on “workflows” and immediately see the statutory exceptions for contracts and orders on multiple award contracts. The old report required users to create separate ad hoc reports if they wanted to see which statutory exception to competition applied.


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Can users do historical trend analysis with the new report?

Yes. Agencies and public users may use the new report to analyze competition on historical data.

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According to the old standard report for competition, 66% of contract obligations were competitively awarded in FY 2009. Under the new report, 66% of contracts were competitively awarded in FY 2010. Does this mean the government’s use of competition remained flat between FY 2009 and FY 2010?

No. Competition increased by 3% between FY 2009 and FY 2010. The old and new reports are methodologically different, so users should not analyze data using both reports, as this will lead to inaccurate results.

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Why do the two reports generate different competition rates for a single Fiscal Year? For instance, according to the old standard report for competition, 66% of contract obligations were competitively awarded in FY 2009, but under the new report, it was 63% of contracts.

The reports generate different figures because they use differed methodologies to analyze the data. The old report assumed that a multiple award order was competitively awarded if the base contract was competed. The new report does not. Instead it differentiates between orders that were subject to fair opportunity and those that are processed with an exception to fair opportunity. As a result, the new report more accurately shows whether or not work was competed where the old report assumed competition.

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Why do the reports list specific exceptions to competition?

Procurement law and regulations (including the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994, Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation) enumerate specific and tailored bases for using other than competitive procedures, such as the existence of only one responsible source. The ability to differentiate among the exceptions to competition provides users with additional transparency for both agency and public users.

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The old report included “Not Available for Competition” and “Follow-on to Competitive Action” categories. Where is that data now captured?

Data previously captured in those categories are included in the Non-competitive workflows, which provide detailed information on the specific statutory exceptions to competition.

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Is the old report still available?

Yes. However, only the new report will be used to officially measure agency progress on increasing competition, because it more accurately measures competition on both contracts and orders.

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