Jerry McGinn on Federal Contract Spending in Response to COVID-19

Jerry McGinn
Jerry McGinn

Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University’s School of Business, said federal contract spending related to COVID-19 has become more varied as agencies transition to managing the ancillary effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Business Journal reported Thursday.

“We are up to about $13 billion that has been obligated specifically for Covid-19 and it breaks out a lot of different ways,” McGinn said. “We’re seeing food [contracts] coming in from the Department of Agriculture, that’s probably gone to some of the hot spots where there have been field hospitals. You are starting to see funding now come in from the Department of Defense, but then you are starting to see other spend come in, like from the Department of Energy and Small Business Administration.”

McGinn said the rate of federal spending related to COVID-19 has “leveled off” driven by a decline in the rate of infections and a shift in priorities, such as spending more on telework capacity. “If you look at the seven-day moving average, it really spiked tremendously at the end of March and early April, but the last several weeks has really kind of plateaued,” he added.

He noted that the pandemic will continue to have an impact on federal budgets.

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