War Dogs: Is Federal Business Opportunities a Real US Government Website?

Starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, ‘War Dogs’ presents a twisted story of two friends who were led down a dangerous path due to their greed. The story is focused on Efraim and David, who discover an interesting way to make money through the government. Because it is involved in several war zones with American soldiers deployed to all corners of the world, it isn’t hard to decipher that the military needs a constant supply of arms, ammunition, and every other thing not just to prepare the soldiers for the battlefield, but also to take care of their every need while they are not in the middle of the war. Efraim and David take advantage of it through the website on which the government posts all the contracts. Interestingly, of all the things that the movie fictionalizes, this part is not one of them.

Fed Biz Opps is a Real Government Website

Like any other company, when the government needs something done, they do it by reaching out to their audience through a website. In the movie, Efraim tells David about a website called Federal Business Opportunities, which includes the listing of every single thing the military needs, right from ammunition to light bulbs. The website of the same name really did exist at the time and its purpose was exactly what Jonah Hill’s character tells Miles Teller.

Now, that webpage (fbo.gov) is defunct, but it has been worked into another government website that works on a broader level. It now falls under sam.gov, where SAM stands for the System for Award Management. This website has taken in several other websites, making it a one-stop spot for anyone looking to get into business with the government. The user-friendly website helps you look up the contracts you might be interested in through the use of specified keywords, making the process even more streamlined for the user. There are thousands of contracts posted on the website, opening up the opportunity to anyone who might be interested.

David Packouz explained how this system worked well for their company, AEY Inc. They would scour the website to find any contract that would not be roped in by the big fish. It could be anything in the low six-figure mark, and it would still have huge profit margins for companies like Efraim and David’s. Packouz revealed that he and Efraim would spend hours on the website every day, looking for something they could afford to take on, something that would be missed by the bigger companies because the small amount of money wouldn’t be considered worthy of their time.

Once they had chosen all the possible contracts, they would try to bid on at least 4-5 of them every day, hoping to outbid all of their competitors, which was another thing they were pretty serious about, trying to find the rival’s numbers by any means possible. As shown in the movie, the whole business of arms dealing is so cutthroat that no one without the stomach for it would ever think about filing such a contract, which is why the site’s existence is not public knowledge.

Read More: War Dogs: What Does AEY Stand For? Is it Still in Business?