Articles tagged with : clarification

How to avoid a contract protest

Are protests destined to become just one more milestone in the federal procurement process?

Are protests destined to become just one more milestone in the federal procurement process? Recent evidence might suggest so. Notably, the protested award to Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Antarctic Research program in the South Pole and the Hawker Beechcraft protest of the award of the new light attack aircraft trainer are recent examples. In addition, market experts predict that as defense budgets decline, companies fighting over fewer dollars will launch more protests when losing procurements that can lock them out of programs or agencies for a decade. If protests are to become the norm for competing in major programs, then it’s to everyone’s advantage to find ways to reduce the number of protests and awards that are overturned. When companies file protests, everyone loses. The procuring agency loses because procurement time lines get stretched out. Bidders lose because the cost of participating in federal procurements goes up. Even the...

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What the Government Won’t Tell You About Your Proposal

When you talk, be prepared and know what is left unsaid.

Congratulations, your proposal has made competitive range, and the government has contacted you to discuss your offer. What the government will and won’t tell you in these discussions can be a surprise to the unprepared bidder, but sophisticated players know the rules and what to expect. First, it is important to know if your dialogue with the government is a discussion or a clarification. There is a difference, and it is important to which type of communication is being requested. Discussions are a formal part of the federal procurement process that allows the government to engage in a substantive dialogue with offerors. They occur after the competitive range determination. If you engage in discussions, a meaningful two-way exchange of information, then you are entitled to revise any part of your proposal you desire — unless, of course, the government tells you otherwise. If you engage in clarifications, responding to requests...

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