How to Find Government Contracts from the Federal Infrastructure Bill

By Deniece Peterson, Deltek (Guest Contributor)

After months of political maneuvering, the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) was officially signed into law in November 2021. The bill provides more than a $1 trillion in funding across five years, much of which contractors can pursue. But how will they find opportunities?

The top questions government contractors have related to the bill are “Where is the funding going?” and “How can I identify opportunities emerging from this bill?”

The IIJA is not emergency legislation, so references to it within acquisition documents as the specific funding source is not as likely. The question of tracking infrastructure opportunities emerging from the legislation is not so simple. Analysts and contractors have been fairly “spoiled” when it comes to identifying COVID-19 contract opportunities due to frequent references. Given the urgent nature of procurement, contract requirements typically included “COVID” or “coronavirus” within the documentation, which enabled identification by keyword.

The story is similar in regards to tracking contract spending. Due to specific oversight requirements in COVID legislation, the federal government created a dedicated National Interest Action code that agencies are required to use to report COVID-related contract actions. Unless the Office of Management & Budget develops a National Interest Action or other reporting classification for the IIJA, the ability to tie spending directly to the infrastructure bill will rely on contract requirement descriptions from individual agencies. The bottom line is this: We should expect a potential change in opportunity volume, not search methodology. That makes searching for specific projects being funded that industry can compete for more more extensive.

Steps Contractors Can Take to Find IIJA Opportunities

So what can contractors do in order to take advantage of the infrastructure bill and find government contracts? They can start with assessing the agencies and programs in play in order to identify where their offerings may align.

  • Agency Familiarity. There are more than 20 agencies funded in the IIJA (the top 11 represent 99.9 percent of funding: Department of Transportation; Department of Energy; Department of Commerce; Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Interior; Department of Army; Federal Communications Commission; Department of Agriculture; Department of Homeland Security; Department of Health & Human Services; General Services Administration). Contractors need to assess their footprint in those organizations and if none exists, develop a customer intelligence strategy for building up agency knowledge.
  • Program Identification. The IIJA focuses heavily on funding specific infrastructure programs, including the establishment of new ones. Contractors can identify programs within agencies of interest to them and start to inform themselves of program missions, history, leadership.
  • Refining Keywords. Identifying IIJA contract opportunities and spending will be along the same lines as contractors search now: by smart tags and keywords. Although it is unlikely that all related contracts will mention the IIJA, contractors should mine the legislation for specific terms, program names, and even section numbers that agencies may mention in contract opportunity documents.
  • Look for Dedicated Industry and Academia Funding. There are some investments that spread the funding directly to industry and academic institutions for energy, cybersecurity, and other research and development efforts. Investigate those to determine your organization’s eligibility to pursue them.
  • Check Department Websites. Many government departments receiving significant IIJA funds have set up dedicated infrastructure pages to provide implementation updates, to varying degrees of depth and granularity. Check regularly for insight into the mechanisms being used to distribute the money. Contracting and acquisition support firms also have dedicated research teams that will be monitoring for updates.

So what can contractors do in order to take advantage of the infrastructure bill and find government contracts? They can start with assessing the agencies and programs in play in order to identify where their offerings may align.

Another step is to make sure to consider state and local spending. A majority of IIJA spending will flow down to state, local and tribal governments through grant programs. A significant portion of this spending will occur in areas such as air and sea ports, mass transit, roads and bridges, broadband infrastructure, and resilience efforts. If your organization has relevant offerings and has not ventured into the state and local market, this could be an opportunity to consider doing so while still aligned with supporting the public sector.

The bottom line is that if you are involved in selling to federal as well as state, local, and education entities within the United States, you can expect to see an increase in contractor addressable opportunities coming from government entities receiving funding from the infrastructure bill. Contractors looking to take advantage should stay informed on the latest developments and learning strategies to best identify these opportunities now, and over the coming few years.

Deniece Peterson is Senior Director of Federal Market Analysis, Deltek (