Accession Number:



COVID-19 CONTRACTING: Observations on Federal Contracting in Response to the Pandemic

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of June 30, 2020, the United States has documented more than 2.5 million confirmed cases and more than 125,000 deaths due to COVID-19. To facilitate the U.S. response to the pandemic, numerous federal agencieshave awarded contracts for critical goods and services to support federal, state, and local response efforts. GAOs prior work on federalemergency response efforts has found that contracts play a key role, and that contracting during an emergency can present unique challenges as officials can face pressure to provide goods and services as quickly as possible. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act CARES Act included a provision for GAO to provide a comprehensive review of COVID-19 federal contracting. This is the first in a series of GAO reports on this issue. This report describes, among other objectives, key characteristics of federal contracting obligations awarded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Future GAO work will examine agencies planning and management of contracts awarded in response to the pandemic, including agencies use of contracting flexibilities provided by the CARES Act. GAO analyzed data from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation on agencies reported government-wide contract obligations for COVID-19 through June 11, 2020. GAO also analyzed contract obligations reported at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, Homeland Security,and Veterans Affairsthe highest obligating agencies.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]