Governmental purchasing policies and procedures very from local government, state government to the federal government. Those policies and procedures are continually changed by the governing body of the government to the point of leaving many contractors confused and unsure of how to best position their company for an award of a government contract. Contractors need to understand the potential pitfalls of government purchasing so that they can succeed in being awarded a government contract. While this is a general outline on government contracting best practices, the details of each government’s purchasing process will vary, so the consultation of a lawyer can be essential to understand the impact of the requirements requested by the government. Below is a list of pitfalls contractors should consider before submitting a proposal or bid:
- Bid Documents
Upon receipt of the bid documents, read completely the bid specifications and all of the front-end documents for all requirements of the government. The fastest way for a contractor to have its bid deemed non-responsive is to not know everything the government is requiring to be submitted. Many provisions may require legal review.
- Bid Submittal
Documents required to be submitted with the bid, need to be submitted with the bid. The bid documents will include forms the contractor needs to have signed or notarized. There will be requirements for bonds which may be non-statutory. A minimum bid review will weed out all bids that do not return all the required forms and documents.
One of the most important components of a contractor’s bid is the experience. The experience needs to be stated in the bid so that anyone can determine what the contractor has done in the past. Brevity will not be rewarded, but clear concise recitation of the contractor’s experience will score points. Contractor’s bids should include backup information to support all claimed experience. Unless there is a page limitation, contractors should use a much paper as necessary to convey its experience.
- Bid Pre-Requisites
If a bid document has pre-requisites prior to bid submittal, then the contractor needs to make every effort to comply. Not being awarded a contract is better than losing money and jeopardizing credit and bond ratings for awarded contracts that cannot be fulfilled for inattention to detail.
Despite the pitfalls, being awarded a government contract is a satisfying experience. If a contractor is going to work with the government, then they ensure that they are putting forth their best effort during the bidding process. Many companies are not able to compete for government contracts not because they are bad companies, but because they fall into these pitfalls. Whether the company is large or small, government contractors through their work enhance the quality of life of our country.
Quentin E. Morgan is an attorney with the South Florida law firm of Brinkley Morgan. Mr. Morgan practice includes representing clients involved in government contracting. Ms. Morgan can be reached at 954.522.2200 or Quentin.Morgan@BrinkleyMorgan.com.
The material appearing on this blog is meant to provide general information only and is not a substitute for nor is it legal advice to you. With regard to specific law issues, readers of this article should seek specific advice from legal counsel of their choice. Articles may not be reprinted without the express permission of Brinkley Morgan.
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