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Defense deals lead in federal IT contracts

Study shows defense agencies accounted for three-fourths of the $20 billion in federal IT contracts awarded last quarter.

Federal agencies awarded information technology contracts worth $20 billion in the last quarter of the fiscal year 2004.

Defense agencies accounted for $15.6 billion worth of these deals, while the rest of the IT contracts were signed by civilian agencies, according to a report released Thursday by market researcher Input.

The Army placed orders worth $9.7 billion, including one for a revised war fighter information network. Overall, five defense agencies signed deals that, together, totaled more than $16 billion, the market researcher said.

The defense deals mainly benefited companies such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Science Applications International. Altogether, the three won 48 awards, eight of which were generated from civilian agencies, Input said.

Input said awards to small companies totaled $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up 105 percent over the third quarter, but down from more than $2.2 billion during the same time last year.

"Defense-related agencies stole the spotlight previously held by the Department of Homeland Security with its massive $10 billion US-VISIT contract award to Accenture in the previous quarter," Michael Boland, senior analyst of federal vendors at Input, said in statement. "The upcoming months will be defined by billion-dollar awards made by both defense- and civilian-related agencies, including Air Force, Army and Energy."