Proposal Submission and Negotiations of Price Proposals for Directed Contracts Awards
Businesses considering engaging in the government contracting process often face significant headwinds due to government contracting practices and policies that are unique and not present in private dealings. Many of these challenges can be handled by an experienced government contracting attorney with years of practice in government contracting and assisting businesses develop government contracting ventures. The attorneys of Meredith & Narine are committed to assisting firms and small businesses with their government contracting needs.
Steps Required in the Preparation of Submission of a Price Proposal for Government Contract Awards
There are significant differences in engaging in the government contracting process. Preparing a proposal submission is no exception to this rule. While there are many ways a n individual can choose to work and approach the matter, there are at least 5 major considerations to account for when preparing a price proposal. These considerations include:
- The foundation for the offer.
- Understanding the type of government solicitation for a contract
- The standard form that is appropriate
- Writing the actual proposal
- Costs and pricing
Building a solid foundation for your company’s offer is the first step in engaging in government contracting. Your foundation should include and address important matters including registering your company in SAM – a government database of federal contractors–, putting your organizational abilities in governmental terms through the use of NAICS & CAGE codes, developing a small business profile, drafting a business capability statement, and locating opportunities your business could conceivably bid on.
Once you have completed these threshold steps, you may have questions about the actual government solicitation your business is interested in. Typically, the solicitations come in four formats:
- Request for Quote (RFQ) – This type of solicitation is used to obtain quotations, but responses to the RFQ is not an offer. Simplified acquisition procedures typically to contracts procured under this type of solicitation. RFQ bid packages typically include Standard Form 18
- Request for Proposal (RFP) – RFPs are used in negotiated acquisitions. An RFP communicates the government’s requirements, anticipated condition and terms for the contract, and evaluation factors. RFPs can be handled through traditional pen and paper methods. Some procurement systems, however, are fully electronic.
- Invitation for Bid (IFB) – IFBs can also be termed as a sealed bid solicitation. Price is the key consideration for IFB solicitations. Once a bid package is received, it is considered complete for bidding purposes.
- Source Sought Request for Information (RFI) – An RFI does not necessarily lead to a contract award because it is used as an advanced notice to put potential firms on notice of the government’s interest into certain projects. This type of request can also be used for government market research purposes including whether a reservation for small businesses is appropriate.
Once you have analyzed the solicitation it may become apparent that one or more standard forms have already been included in the bid package. In other circumstances, the firm must select and submit the proper standard form. Common standard forms include:
- Standard Form 18 (Request for Quotation)
- Standard Form 26 (Award / Contract)
- Standard Form 33 (Solicitation, Offer and Award)
- Standard Form 1449 (Solicitation / Contract / Order for Commercial Items)
- Standard Form 1447 (Solicitation / Contract)
Using the appropriate form and understanding the implications of executing and submitting a standard form is essential. For instance, standard form 33 is a bilateral document that can be used by the government to both solicit orders and award a contract. This form is typically utilized for negotiated contracts or sealed bids exceeding $150,000 in value.
Writing the Proposal & Price Considerations
A successful proposal is on-point, highlights the company’s abilities, and is aligned with the governments needs as articulated in the bid package and solicitation. It is essential that you first spend some time planning when writing a proposal because proposals that do not meet all requirements and provide all requested information can be deemed “non-responsive” ending your chances for a government contract award. Proposals that come after the response date, that do not address the salient points in the request, or fail to provide requested information are highly likely to be deemed non-responsive.
Price considerations are also essential, but different consideration musty be made depending on whether the solicitation is for a negotiated contract or for a sealed bid contract. Negotiations are not permitted prior to a sealed bid contract award and price and price-related concerns are the sole considerations. These factors must be kept in mind when considering pricing for a sealed bid. In contrast, negotiations on price are permitted prior to a contract award for negotiated contracts. These facts should inform your price submissions for a government contract.
Rely on our Goverment Contracting Attorneys when Working With the Government
The attorneys of Meredith & Narine are committed to assisting firms and small businesses with their government contracting needs. To schedule a private consultation call our firm at 215-995-2769 or contact us online today.