RFP Process for Government Contracts
The federal government must serve as a model of an equal opportunity employer. The federal government must also demonstrate its responsible management of taxpayer dollars. So, when the federal government needs work done, there’s a process that must be followed to ensure that no contractor is given preferential treatment and that the job is done at a reasonable cost.
The process for developing an RFP for a government contract looks something like this:
- A government agency identifies a need for work done. The agency informs its contracting office, which controls the acquisition (of materials and labor) process.
- The agency’s contracting office issues an RFI. This initial document will collect information from small businesses to help the contracting office determine if the job can be done through a small business set-aside or not.
- If a qualified small business is identified through responses to the RFI, the contracting office may allocate a small business set-aside for the project. The government agency will draft a contract and work will begin.
- If insufficient small businesses are found in response to the RFI, the contracting agency will inform the government agency with work to be done so that they can draft the technical requirements for an RFP. Together, the contracting office and other offices in the agency will put together a complete RFP with all bidder and project requirements.
- The contracting office will then publish the RFP, putting the project out to full/open bid. All qualifying contractors can submit an RFP response.
- Once all RFP responses are collected (submission instructions and deadlines are outlined in the RFP), the government agency will review all proposals to determine which contractor’s proposal best demonstrates the ability to perform the scope of work, meet objectives and efficiently manage resources…in other words, which “best meets the government customer’s needs.”
- Once the government agency selects a contractor, the contracting office will issue a government contract. Once signed and approved by both parties, work on the project can begin.
McGrady & Associates, LLC can help you develop your RFI and RFP responses. We can help small businesses demonstrate their capabilities to secure small business set-asides or help any size contractor create winning proposals for open bids.