Preparation and Submission Bids Proposals and Offers
Many companies, firms, and corporations aspire to do business with the federal government. Tales of federal largesse, a sense of citizenship & duty, and an appealing business opportunity all form the basis of reasons that entrepreneurs and businesses set their sight on the market for government contracts. However, the process and procedures associated with the preparation and submission of bid proposals and bid offers is a unique one where commercial experience may not be directly applicable or encourage improper action.
The approach your business takes to a government contracting venture will determine whether expansion to this field was justified. While some companies may lack qualified personnel or an institutional understanding of the process at the outset, working with experienced government contracting attorneys well-versed in the preparation of bid proposals can help your company develop institutional knowledge that is responsive to the unique demands of government contracting. The attorneys of Meredith & Narine can work with your business to establish or reinvigorate a government contracting business.
Building a Solid Foundation for Your Bid Proposal
One of the most important steps that can be taken by a company involved in the bid submission process is establishing a strong foundation for a proposal. Steps to forming a strong foundational basis include:
- Registering in SAM (System for Award Management)
- Developing an attention-grabbing and compelling business profile
- Developing a company capability statement
- Locating government contracting opportunities that may be a good match for your business
However these are merely some of the steps a business should take at the outset. Additional actions, measures, and planning are required if the company decides that it would be appropriate to begin preparing a government contract proposal.
Unique Considerations Businesses Must Make When Working With the Federal Government
The federal government and its agencies are unique buyers, in part, because of the utilization of the north American Industry Classification System (NACIS). NAICS codes are used to identify, describe, and define a product or service. Furthermore, government contracting firms are also likely to have at least a primary NACIS code. However many businesses have multiple codes.
However the NACIS code is not unique to your business. If you are intending to work with the federal government, you must also familiar with D-U-N-S. Also known as Dun & Bradstreet numbers, D-U-N-S is used to uniquely identify a prospective government contractor. Companies can register for a D-U-N-S identification number free-of-charge.
Additionally, if your firm is intending to work with the Department of Defense (DoD), knowledge of Federal Supply groups and Class codes becomes necessary. Furthermore, knowledge of a firm’s Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code is also necessary. CAGE is utilized as a standard method of identifying a facility and is extensively used in automated government systems.
Types of Government Contracting Solicitations
While government contracting awards involve thousands of contracts aggregating in the hundreds of billions of dollars, there are typically four primary formats for bid solicitations. These forms are:
Request for quotation (RFQ)
When the government is seeking information but does not want replies to be considered offers, it will generally issue a request of quotation (RFQ). While RFQs are most commonly utilized when the contract value is expected to be less than $150,000 there is no bar to using this form of solicitation for more valuable contracts.
Request for proposal (RFPs)
Mainly for use in negotiated acquisitions to communicate government requirements. RFPs will set forth requirements, projected terms and conditions, required information, and evaluation factors. Typical RFP bid include Standard Form 33 or 1447.
Invitation for bid (IFB)
IFBs are also sometimes called a sealed bid solicitation. IFBs do not usually include discussions or negotiations with the government buying office. Provided that your firm is a qualified bidder, price is typically the chief consideration. Bids must be responsive to the solicitation’s terms and conditions.
Sources sought (RFI)
This is an advanced notice by the government seeking potential bidders and suppliers for the government’s interest in particular areas of research and development. Such requests can be utilized for market research.
Aside from understanding the forms of contracts, one must also have a grasp as to simplified acquisition procedures are being applied. For most RFPs and IFBs where the simplified procedures are not used, the government mandates the of a uniform contract format. The uniform contract format contains four main parts with each part containing numerous sections. Having a grasp of this format merely ensures that the individual can write proposal. Other considerations that still remain include the actual writing of the bid proposal such that it is clear that needs are aligned, your company’s strengths are fully articulated, and costs and pricing are appropriate.
Rely on Experienced Government Contracting Attorneys
The government contracting attorneys of Meredith & Narine have years of experience handling the unique issues and concerns presented by the need for bid proposals in response to government contracting solicitations. Our dedicated attorneys can put their years of experience to work for your business’ established of nascent government contracting business. To schedule a confidential consultation call our firm at 215-995-2769 or contact us online today.