The top contracts for 2013 demonstrate the slimmer waistline of the federal government, coming in millions less than the top contract announcements of previous years. In addition to representing smaller amounts the contracts also closely align with the top spending priorities in the federal government, which include data consolidation and information technology development.

The list, prepared by Deltek, includes a $20.9 billion contract to consolidate 33 current and six potential programs to meet Air Force acquisition needs at the top of the list. By number three on the list, contract values diminish to $10 billion or less – a large sum, to be sure, but small by federal government standards.

Number 10 on the list, the BiowatchGen3, carries a value of $3.1 billion for biodetectors to monitor the air for harmful agents. Number 15 on the list is the Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services Full Deployment (CANES FD), a Navy contract to install upgrades on networks in ships and on shore sites.

Basic and applied research, hardware and software development and data management make up the main areas of expertise needed on the top 20 contracts. Professional services are also represented, but as has been speculated, in a budget strapped environment government will cut professional and consulting services first.

Deltek predicts 2013-2014 to be the low-point in the federal spending cycle, but don’t necessarily expect contract awards to spike dramatically in 2014. Increased scrutiny on government spending has meant that more agencies are looking to both diminish contract size where possible as well as look for different contract vehicles. Contracts with values under $100 million offer agencies more flexibility in reporting and requirements.

Here is the full run-down of the top 20 contracts to watch in 2013.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves cybersecurity, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email editor@clearancejobs.com.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.