Your marketing efforts have resulted in locating a solicitation for supplies and services that is exactly suited to your business. The solicitation by the government may be a result of your self-marketing efforts or you may have located it at FEDBIZOPS, the gateway for all federal government business in excess of $25K. The fact that the government has now converted a project requirement into a formal solicitation means that the funding is available for a contract and the authorities within the government agency have authorized a source selection process.
In dealing with government officials the small business owner must be aware of regulations regarding procurement integrity. This body of law has come into being through trial and error in dealing with conflict of interest and undue influence by industry on government officials and vice versa.
If you are an off-the-shelf or purchased-finished supplier of goods to the federal government, your contact closeout is reasonably simple. You will make delivery at a firm, fixed price to the agency to which you have contracted and submit an invoice. The government will receive and inspect the delivery and approve your invoice for payment. Assuming there are no ongoing warranties, logistics support or similar contract line items involved, the government will then closeout the contract, as will you.
Federal government contracting is all about relationship development. Marketing to influential agency personnel, industry partners, prospective team members, employees, associate contractors and others who can help you requires a hard hitting synopsis of what your firm brings to the table.
Part 1, Section C, is where the technical specifications and statement of work are located in your government contract. It is vitally important to manage these documents with your agency customers.
Without a well written Statement of Work (SOW) and associated supplies and services specifications there is unacceptable risk in your contract.
On occasion the government finds it necessary to terminate contractual arrangements with contractors. FAR Sub-part 49.5 governs such actions. Here are the two most common forms of contract termination, what you should know about them and how to manage them.
There are over 100 agencies or “Departments” in the federal government. Each of these agencies has a statutory obligation to contract from small business for over 20% of everything it buys. Contracting officers must file reports annually demonstrating they have fulfilled this requirement. Not fulfilling the requirement can put agency annual funding in jeopardy. You have a motivated customer in federal government contracting officers and buyers.
Your small business is established in the federal government contracting sector. You have become a member of the government contracting community by registering with System for Award Management (SAM). You have proposed, negotiated and have been awarded your first government contract(s) and have a successful past performance history with the government in selling your products and/or services.
Recently a question regarding project management prompted me to recommend a simple application of an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) to deal with a project management problem.
The question and my answer are as follows:
You have worked to establish your federal government contract business contacts. You have developed your company infrastructure and processes to accommodate the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Your company has effectively marketed and teamed on a prospective program. A proposal has been carefully prepared and submitted to the contracting officer. You have been selected as the apparent winner and you are ready for the next phase on the government contracting process – the negotiation. This article assumes that your are in the federal government services contracting business, that you plan to price your services at an hourly rate and sell them by labor categories with professional job descriptions to perform the government’s statement of work and bill by the hour. This article also assumes that you are not contracting under FAR Part 12, “Commercial Contracting”.