Procurement Basics

Over US$500 billion in contracts are awarded annually.

U.S. government contracts offer extensive contracting opportunities for Canadian firms. The U.S. government buys services and products offered in the commercial market as well as, highly specialized systems and custom-tailored professional services. U.S. government contracts can be profitable.

  • Successful U.S. government contracts offer profitability and a stable source of income including options that last for several years. Such long term client relationships can build your business and provide a reliable source of income.
  • The U.S. fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th and like Canada, the U.S. government does a LOT of fourth quarter spending so there is big money business to pursue July through September.
  • U.S. government agencies must have funding in order to sign a contract and, must pay interest penalties on late payments. Contractors can therefore expect to get paid, on time, for completed work.

Opportunities in the Market

All federal departments and agencies must procure a wide range of items and services. The acquisition arm of the federal government, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) connects the private sector to the federal agencies and departments to fulfill their procurement needs. The GSA offers professional services, equipment, supplies, telecommunications, and information technology from commercial businesses to government organizations and the military through acquisition solutions from its Federal Acquisition Service (FAS).

All future, current and past business opportunities are centrally posted on the database FedBizOpps. This resource is a comprehensive database of all major government solicitations, contract awards, subcontracting opportunities, surplus property sales, and foreign business opportunities with the federal government. Please note however, at the bidding stage of the process it may be too late to participate as major U.S. prime contractors have already identified their subcontractors prior to the formal solicitation.