Understanding and exploring subcontract award data
GovTribe acquires and integrates subcontract award data in real time from www.USASpending.gov, the site to which the federal government is required to report subcontract award data in accordance with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA).
Limitations of Subcontract Award Data
The nature and quality of subcontract vs. prime contract award data differs since the federal government is only responsible for the timely reporting and accuracy of prime contract award data, and subcontract awards are self-reported by prime contractors.
Since there is limited oversight, enforcement, or quality control over the subcontract award reporting process, the completeness, timeliness, and accuracy of subcontract award data depends entirely on prime contractor companies’ reporting practices.
For this reason, meaningful aggregate analysis of subcontract award data is unfortunately not fully possible. For example, the vendor showing the most subcontract award dollars in FY 2019 under DHS, for example, is really just the vendor who subs most often to the prime contractors who reliably report their DHS subcontract awards.
Researching Subcontract Award Data
Because of these limitations described above, GovTribe does not provide a way to search subcontract data in aggregate. However, there are two very useful ways in which reported subcontract data has been integrated into the site, both described here.
Viewing a Vendor's Primes and Subs from the Vendor Page
On every Vendor page listed on GovTribe, if that company has ever reported a subcontract award to another company, or has even been the subject of a subcontract award report, we show a list of those partner companies.
To view a list of Subcontractors for any Vendor:
Step 1. Go to Main Menu >> Participants >> Vendors (take me there), and search for the appropriate Vendor.
Step 2. Click on Subs at the top of the screen to scroll to the list of subcontractors that this vendor has used in the past.
To view a list of prime contractors for which this Vendor has subcontracted:
Step 1. Click on the Primes tab at the top of the screen to scroll to the list of prime contractors that have used this vendor as a subcontractor in the past.
Viewing the Subcontract Awards for a Specific Prime Award
The second way GovTribe integrates subcontract award data is to display a list of the subcontract awards that have been reported for every federal contract prime award in our database.
To view subcontract award data on a prime award:
Step 1. Go to Main Menu >> Awards >> and select the type of Federal Contract Award (regular contract award, contract IDV award, or contract vehicle).
Step 2. Search to access the desired contract's Detail Page.
Step 3. Click on Federal Contract Subawards at the top of the screen to scroll to the list of subcontracts on this award.
This option will not appear if no subcontract data exists for the award.