blog v.1

Numbers - The Who, What Where When and How

April 1, 2020

Question…as a small business person, wouldn’t you like to have as a customer - THE largest consumer of goods and services in the WORLD…I said, the WORLD? 

I’m guessing that you said, "YES, and WHO might that be?"

I’m glad that you asked.

If so, That WHO,  is the US Govt, and in 2019 alone, the USG spent over $4.4 Trillion dollars. 

So now, I guess what’s running through your mind is, well WHAT are they buying and just as importantly, HOW are they buying it. We’re going to get into that. We’re also going to explore the WHEN and the WHERE of how the USG spends its money….let me take that back, OUR MONEY.

Let begin with the WHAT. Well to put it succinctly, the USG buys just about everything ranging in products from planes, trains and automobiles….down to pencils, pens and toilet paper…and everything in between. Now the good part is that they don’t try to keep it a secret. They break the goods, as well as the services down NUMBERS and DESCRIPTIONS. The description of the things that they buy are listed on-line and its called the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS codes. 

A random sampling of the codes will layout the SECTOR (or number), and the overarching description for that number. Here are a few: 


Sector Description

11  Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting

21  Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction

22  Utilities 

23 Construction

31-33  Manufacturing

42  Wholesale Trade

44-45  Retail Trade 

48-49  Transportation and Warehousing

51    Information

52   Finance and Insurance 

53    Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

54   Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

55  Management of Companies and Enterprises 

56  Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services

61   Educational Services

62  Health Care and Social Assistance

71  Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

72  Accommodation and Food Services

81  Other Services   (except Public Administration)

92   Public Administration

Lets dig a little deeper, For example, a popular NAICS code that every agency uses is number 54 – Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Although the high level code is only 2 numbers, when we begin to dig, we find that the USG further breaks it all down by adding numbers on to the 54, and giving each number its own specific description. For instance:

Search results for: 54

Number of records found: 95
54 Professional, Scientific, and   Technical Services

541 Professional,   Scientific, and Technical Services

5411 Legal Services

54111   Offices of Lawyers

541110   Offices of Lawyers

54112   Offices of Notaries

541120   Offices of Notaries

54119   Other Legal Services

541191   Title Abstract and   Settlement Offices

541199   All Other Legal Services


5412 Accounting,   Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services

54121   Accounting, Tax   Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services 

541211   Offices of Certified   Public Accountants

541213   Tax Preparation Service 

541214   Payroll Services

541219   Other Accounting Services


5413 Architectural,   Engineering, and Related Services

54131   Architectural Services

541310   Architectural Services 

54132   Landscape Architectural Services

541320   Landscape Architectural Services

54133   Engineering Services

541330   Engineering Services

54134   Drafting Services

541340   Drafting Services 

54135   Building Inspection Services

541350   Building Inspection Services

54136   Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services

541360   Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services 

54137   Surveying and Mapping (except Geophysical) Services

541370   Surveying and Mapping (except Geophysical) Services

54138   Testing Laboratories

541380   Testing Laboratories


5414 Specialized Design Services

54141   Interior Design Services

541410   Interior Design Services

54142   Industrial Design Services

541420   Industrial Design Services

54143   Graphic Design Services

541430   Graphic Design Services

54149   Other Specialized Design Services

541490   Other Specialized Design Services


5415 Computer   Systems Design and Related Services

54151   Computer Systems Design and Related Services 

541511   Custom Computer   Programming Services 

541512   Computer Systems Design Services

541513   Computer Facilities Management Services

541519   Other Computer Related Services


5416 Management,   Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services

54161   Management Consulting Services

541611   Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services

541612   Human Resources Consulting Services

541613   Marketing Consulting Services

541614   Process, Physical   Distribution, and Logistics Consulting Services

541618   Other Management   Consulting Services

54162   Environmental Consulting   Services

541620   Environmental Consulting   Services

54169   Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services 

541690   Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Service


5417 Scientific   Research and Development Services

54171   Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences

541713   Research and Development in Nanotechnology

541714   Research and Development in Biotechnology (except Nanobiotechnology)

541715   Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Nanotechnology and Biotechnology)

54172   Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities

541720   Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities


5418 Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services

54181   Advertising Agencies

541810   Advertising Agencies 

54182   Public Relations Agencies

541820   Public Relations Agencies

54183   Media Buying Agencies

541830   Media Buying Agencies

54184   Media Representatives

541840   Media Representatives

54185   Outdoor Advertising

541850   Outdoor Advertising

54186   Direct Mail Advertising

541860   Direct Mail Advertising

54187   Advertising Material Distribution Services

541870   Advertising Material Distribution Services

54189   Other Services Related to Advertising

541890   Other Services Related to Advertising


5419 Other   Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 

54191   Marketing Research and   Public Opinion Polling

541910   Marketing Research and   Public Opinion Polling

54192   Photographic Services

541921   Photography Studios, Portrait

541922   Commercial Photography 

54193   Translation and   Interpretation Services 

541930   Translation and   Interpretation Services

54194   Veterinary Services

541940   Veterinary Services

54199   All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

541990   All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

So now, hopefully, you’re better understanding the WHO and the WHAT of OBTAINING USG Contracts, Lets now turn our attention to the WHERE and the WHEN.

For any requirement that a Contracting Office transmits, its got to go through what is called a Governmentwide Point of Entry, or GPE. They achieve that objective through a variety of different modalities.

(1) For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $25,000, by synopsizing the proposed contract action utilizing the Federal Business Opportunities, or FedBizOpps, as the GPE. 

(2) For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $15,000, but not expected to exceed $25,000, by displaying in a public place, or by any appropriate electronic means. The notice must include a statement that all responsible sources may submit a response which, if timely received, must be considered by the agency. 

Contracting officers may use electronic posting of requirements in a place accessible by the general public at the Government installation to satisfy the public display requirement. Contracting offices using electronic systems for public posting that are not accessible outside the installation must periodically publicize the methods for accessing the information.

(b) In addition, one or more of the following methods may be used:

(1) Preparing periodic handouts listing proposed contracts, and displaying them as in 5.101(a)(2).

(2) Assisting local trade associations in disseminating information to their members.

(3) Making brief announcements of proposed contracts to newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other mass communication media for publication without cost to the Government.

(4) Placing paid advertisements in newspapers or other communications media, subject to the following limitations:

(i) Contracting officers shall place paid advertisements of proposed contracts only when it is anticipated that effective competition cannot be obtained otherwise (see 5.205(d)).

(ii) Contracting officers shall not place advertisements of proposed contracts in a newspaper published and printed in the District of Columbia unless the supplies or services will be furnished, or the labor performed, in the District of Columbia or adjoining counties in Maryland or Virginia (44 U.S.C. 3701).

(iii) Advertisements published in newspapers must be under proper written authority in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3702 (see 5.502(a)).

We’re going to dedicate a whole show to the timeframes, stipulations, regulations and statutes that govern the mandatory actions of the CO, but for today's purposes on the WHERE, we’re going to limit the discussion to exactly that, where you can find the requirements.

For more discussion and an opportunity to further define, direct and move forward with your federal government procurement goals and objectives, send me an email at