While much of the news is centered around sequestration, the debt ceiling, and everything that’s going wrong in the world of government contracting, the picture isn’t quite that bleak. Uncle Sam will always need to buy goods and services. The high-dollar contract opportunity landscape for 2014 is a dramatic improvement upon 2013. The caps set by sequestration finally start to lift, and government agencies are learning to adapt to new budget realities.

The top 20 federal opportunities for 2014 represent a nearly $70 billion increase over 2013’s numbers, according to the Deltek, which produces an annual report of federal contracting opportunities.

In good news for defense contractors, 73 percent of the top 20 contracts are defense department opportunities. The U.S. Army offers the three highest-value contracting opportunities for 2014. The contracts include the Strategic Services Sourcing 2nd Generation Contract at Aberdeen Proving Ground; the worldwide Information Technology Enterprise Solutions 3 Services; and Rapid Response 4th Generation, a systems integration and technology services contract.

Top contracts represent a blend of IT procurement and professional services opportunities. And while most of the opportunities are re-competes of previously awarded contracts, there are a number of new opportunities, as well.

As expected, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is creating opportunities in healthcare, and particularly health IT. Cyber security skills and services also remain in-demand for the federal government.

A great contract for small businesses may be the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pro Tech contract for professional and support services. The government has said the “majority of awards will be reserved for small businesses,” according to recent Deltek analysis in the Washington Post.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at ClearanceJobs.com. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer