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Preparing for the Government Fiscal Year 4th Quarter Spending
By Molly K. Gimmel & Diana Dibble Kurcfeld
e’ve previously talked about the govern- ture requirements? The time to plan for growth
ment fiscal year and how each quarter is BEFORE the contracts are awarded.
has events that are pretty consistent from year-
to-year. A timeline of the cycle of activities that Many infrastructure requirements come to light
generally occur during each quarter of the gov- during the proposal process, when the com-
ernment’s fiscal year is highlighted in the table pany develops their management approach.
below. While there are certainly exceptions, un- Their approach is complete and wins the con-
der most circumstances this is an accurate de- tract; however, some or all of their processes,
piction. procedures, and controls may not exist in re-
Q3 Q4
Agency budgets
Agencies begin
End of year
finalized/ Marketing
releasing RFPs
spending &
intensifies proposal madness
The bulk of each agency’s budget is usually ality. Now the company has a short time peri-
spent in the last six months of the fiscal year od to get everything in place so that they will
(from April through September). The 4th quar- comply with the contract once it is awarded.
ter (Q4) of the Government fiscal year is gen- This is very common when a company uses the
erally the busiest since the agencies are wrap- “we will hire the incumbents” as their staffing
ping up the spending for the fiscal year. Unless strategy. Incumbent staff works on the current
it is two-year money, budget dollars must be contract and key incumbent employees can be
spent in the year it is allocated, which is by Sep- the difference in winning or losing if personnel
tember 30. are a key evaluation factor. The time to plan for
hiring incumbents is during the marketing and
We have also talked about planning as it relates proposal process, not after contract award.
to marketing and proposals. Infrastructure is What will you do if the incumbents don’t want
often omitted from the planning process. Busi- to work for you? If you win and can’t staff the
nesses think about resources for proposal de- contract, then you may have the contract ter-
velopment to meet the increased needs during minated for default. Clearly, that’s not a good
Q4. But what about the company’s infrastruc- situation.
 ThinkBusiness June 2009 
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