Government Contracts Made Easier


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The winning proposal manager who made the handshake agreement has moved on to other proposals, or is no longer even working at the company. The sub has then lost any leverage with the prime contractor. With so much teaming going on with government contractors, written teaming agreements are now more important than ever. And the subs need to have a fully executed teaming agreement before proposal submission when they still have leverage. The streets are littered with small subcontractors that thought they had an agreement with a prime, but were instead left at the altar.

The term "discriminator" is tossed around as if there are dozens of them. Most companies are fortunate if they have one true discriminator. For instance, it could be a proprietary process or a patent. Or something that you invented that has a measure of merit. Having been in business for 20 years is not a discriminator. Had the Magna Carta been handed to a Red Team, the march towards democracy would have been set back several centuries. In government contracting, the Red Team reviews the proposal and recommends, or better, directs, mid-course corrections.

However, the process is broken. The proposal team works long and hard on the proposal. Every problem must be accompanied by a recommended fix.

Government Bids That Matter

Try something different during customer visits. Instead of listening to your own voice, try listening to theirs. Instead of convincing them how smart you are, allow them to prove to you how smart they are. Some companies place too much emphasis on hiring persuasive, smooth-talking business development people who make great presentations. A good listener is worth their weight in gold.

Then meet them. This is the easiest to explain, but the most difficult for contractors to do. Winning contractors tend to deliver proposals that focus on solving the problems that are keeping the customer up at night.

For the latest government contracting news , watch his show, Government Contracting Weekly. About Resources Blog Podcast Contact.

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James K. All Posts. The "new normal" of government contracting is a tough adjustment. And yet, many contractors are thriving. Have A Targeted Approach Use a laser not a shotgun. Handoff from Capture to Proposal A good handoff between the capture manager and the proposal manager is like the artistry between the quarterback and the running back.

Government Contracts: Everything You Need to Know

Services like marketing consultation, transportation, and janitorial duties are also regularly purchased by the government. Any company that sells its products or services to other business entities or nonprofits could probably also sell to the government. Conducting business with the government can also be difficult as it can be tough to find the right channels for marketing your company with so many employees throughout different branches. The paperwork involved and regulations for government business contracts can also be a bit overwhelming as a business owner.

Thankfully, there are lots of options for assistance. If you're interested in working with a particular federal government agency, like the Postal Service or the DOD, you can contact that particular agency and get your business on their mailing list. The federal government isn't the only option, state agencies and local entities, like school districts, also make great customers. Smaller, non-federal agencies have more opportunities for trading and, even though they are smaller, they can offer just as much potential for growing your company as working with the federal government would.

Government Contracts: Everything You Need to Know Government contracts are any formal agreements made between businesses and government agencies that summarize business arrangements. An Overview of Government Contract Law The government of the United States buys more products and services than any other entity worldwide. There are three main differences between government purchases and those of the private consumer: Government contracts are highly regulated to ensure the most competition, guarantee proper use of government funds, and promote a healthy economy.

Government contracts include clauses, like the "changes" or "default" clauses, that allow the government to enact special rights within the contract like being able to change the terms of the contract or even end it. Congress is also responsible for drafting and passing laws and statutes that establish the various federal agencies along with the specific programs run by these very agencies. Congress supports federal agencies and their programs by putting into place an appropriations act. This, in turn, provides the funding needed for each agency to function.

Government Contracts Made Easier with Judy Bradt

Appropriations acts can be done for one year, multiple years or unrestricted. Usually, the government prefers multi-year appropriations—they tend to save a lot of money for both the government and contractors alike. Once the funding is approved by Congress, they are available for use Stanberry, , p.

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Regarding the budget process, it can be a long and tortuous process. The government conducts their business according to fiscal years, which run from October 1 to September 30, and they are required at this time to submit their budgets for the upcoming year. Preparing these budgets can take up to several years to be completed by federal agencies. Hearings are held and once all parties are in agreement, OMB passes it on to Congress.

From there, it is forwarded onto the Congressional Budget Office and the individual budget committees for in-depth review. Hearings are held at this point and, if all parties are in agreement, a draft legislation is moved onto both the House and the Senate for debate and approval. If an agreement is not reached by either before the start of the fiscal year, business operations are in danger of being shut down due to lack of funding. Nothing can be done at this point until the approval process has been completed. When I was on contract with the D.

Government, I saw this happen first-hand and it was not a pretty sight. It contains all the rules governing the contracting process as well as all the forms and clauses used in contracts—the FAR is constantly being changed to make sure the information within is always up-to-date. The FAR is divided into 53 parts, each part dealing with a separate aspect of the acquisition process. The first six parts deal with basic government acquisition matters and the next six parts deal with specific aspects of acquisition planning.

A federal contract is a mutual agreement with one or more parties involving a tendering of an offer, with terms and conditions, and serves as a proof of obligation. In contracts, the offeror is the party who makes the offer and looks for acceptance from the offeree.

Government contracts are solicited and awarded on behalf of the United States, the principal, by specially trained agents, who are known as contracting officers. Only the contracting officer has the explicit authority to commit the United States government to a third party.


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The contracting officer is the agent of the government with the authority to enter into, administer, end contracts and make determinations of findings. A single contracting officer may be responsible for any and all of the above-mentioned duties. They also have the power to delegate certain functions, but not responsibility, to other officials in the contracting office. Delegation of this type should be put in writing, and a contractor informed of such and provided a copy of the instructions.


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  7. For compensation to be made properly, contractors must be in direct contact with the contracting officer and the government official in a particular area or specialty regarding the product or services being provided Giallourakis, , p. With the government as the buyer, a contractor should have total faith that they will be fully compensated for the services provided.

    One need not worry about bankruptcy, a bounced check or someone disappearing on them. Business dealing with the government may be slow and tedious, but, nevertheless, you will be paid at the end of the day Giallourakis, , p. The type of contract used is determined by the circumstances of the acquisition deal and the extent of risk the government wishes to accept regarding cost.

    There are three basic types of contracts:. Fixed-price — these types of contracts are used primarily by small businesses. The final price is determined before any work is done.

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