A Guide on How To Read Government Contracts.
Misunderstanding the requirements and information requested from federal contract sections can cost you a contract so filling them out improperly, will cost you the chance of being awarded the job.
The format for most Federal Contracts proposals are fixed by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
The FAR mandates that RFPs be divided into Sections A through M.
There are three common types of solicitation processes the government uses in contract packages.
printed Government contract can look intimidating.
When you first find a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the government which you have determined you have interest in Start by reading:
Other, key Government Contract Sections are:
This doesn’t mean that the other sections are not necessary or important.
Some sections may have things that you must respond to, like Section K, where they put the “Certifications and Representations” (Where you may have to “Certify” or “Represent” that you are a U.S. firm, a minority firm, that you haven’t defaulted on previous contracts, etc.).
Others parts of the legal form or contract are boilerplate, and you won’t have to read them the same way you will the Statement of Work and Evaluation Criteria.
Things to look for in the Contract sections:
When reading Section L:
Section L spells out the specific preparation requirements for submitting your bid. Read carefully, a misunderstanding could lead to your bid or proposal being rejected. Once you understand all conditions listed in this section, check to see if comparable instructions found in Section C and Section M are consistent.
When reading Section M:
Section M list the factors the government uses to compare each bid and which criteria is most important to them. Understanding the weight attached to each specific bid component (price, materials used, etc.) will allow you to tailor your application answers to maximize your potential for winning.
When reading Section C:
Look for requirements (are they explained, understandable, and/or ambiguous?), contradictions (between requirements as well as Section L and M), feasibility, and opportunities for differentiation between you and your competitors.
When reading Section B:
Look for correspondence to the requirements and evaluation criteria.
Sections of a government contract form 33 are
In most solicitation applications, Form 33 (Section A) outlines the basic information as set forth by the government agency requesting the bid or proposal. In this document, you should make note of the type of contract, deadline for return of forms, mailing address of the government office and the name of the individual who will serve as your point of contact.
Section B -- Services And Price:
This portion of the solicitation form outlines the specific quantities of items that need to be packaged. Each unique item or service is placed on a separate line and given a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN). Next to each item, you will be asked to place your price in the blank space provided. Be sure to read over the requested option rights as outlined in Section B as well. This will help you understand how the contract might change in the future, including the government’s right to order future packaging services.
Includes further descriptions and specifications of the government's requirements as laid out in Section B.
Outlines specific packaging and labeling requirements.
Describes the inspection process and quality assurance requirements.
Lays forth the expected schedule of delivery.
Presents contracting administration data such as government personnel involved and source of funds.
Details special contract requirements not found elsewhere, such as special security requirements and limited access to facilities
Outlines optional and required contract clauses; if clauses are referenced, read them from their original source.
Consists of any attachments that have been appended to the contract solicitation.
Certifications and Representations, You may have to “Certify” or “Represent” that you are a U.S. firm, a minority firm, that you haven’t defaulted on previous contracts, etc.
Instructions, Conditions and Notices:
Section M -- Evaluation Factors:
Section M relays the factors used to determine how the government
plans to compare each bid and which criteria is most important to them.
weight attached to each specific bid component (price,
materials used, etc.) will allow you to tailor your application answers
to maximize your potential for selection.
Helping you to understand about reading a Government contract or Request for Quotation (RFP)
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