How to do Business with the Department of Interior

How to do Business with the Department of Interior

You may be familiar with several different agencies within the government like the Department of Education, Department of Justice and Department of Defense; but what about those departments that are not so commonplace, like the Department of Interior. I mean, what the heck do they do anyway? By the way, it has nothing to do with interior design. Not that I thought that or anything.

That got me thinking. If I’m in this stuff every day and I am not familiar with some of it, surely you may have some questions. I discovered there are 15 Executive Departments under the Federal Executive Branch of the government and a host of Independent Agencies and Government Corporations.[1] I have decided to address one department every week for the next several weeks. This way, you’ll learn about what the department does, what agencies provide support to that department and, most importantly, how you can position your company to the department and related agencies. This should be able to shed some light on the recurring question, “What Agency is buying what I do/make/sell?”

The first one up for discussion – in no particular order – is the Department of Interior. This department is responsible for managing and conserving most federally owned land. As an aside, I wonder why they don’t call themselves the department of exterior, wouldn’t that make more sense? Come on, the Department of Education is about education, the Department of Labor is about the work force, but the Department of Interior preserves exterior spaces? Really? I can’t have been the only one confused, but I digress.

There are several key agencies that are associated with the Department of Interior. They include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish & Wildlife Service, Geological Survey (USGS), Mineral Management Service, National Interagency Fire Center, National Park Service and Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation & Enforcement[2]. Although some of the agency names are self-explanatory; others, not so much. The Bureau of Land Management, for example, not only manages recreation and conservation of federally owned lands, but also wild horses and burros – crazy right? The Bureau of Reclamation manages water in the West and is the second largest producers of hydroelectric power. The Mineral Management Service is charged with environmentally and economically responsible development of our offshore resources.

So let’s think of the possibilities. Veterinarians, Firefighters, Drilling experts (both offshore and surface), Engineers, Geological experts, Landscape Design firms, and any company that provides the equipment needed in any of these fields. These are all needs that the aforementioned agencies and this department would have, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

I know you’ve heard it before and you’ve probably read it from me a few times in the past. The federal government buys EVERYTHING! Peering into this one department and its nine key agencies has proven how true that statement is. Tune in next week as we dive into another department and see what contracting opportunities may be waiting for you.

[1] – Federal Executive Branch

[2] – Department of Interior information with link to the 9 associated agencies