Warning: The writers at Integrity Lion Acquisitions, LLC are blunt & may come off politically incorrect. Each writer has experience within Government Acquisitions from being prior contract specialist, contracting officer, procurement analyst, etc. The things that are written, may offend, but not every Government Acquisitions Office functions the same.
Where does the Government Search for Contractors?
That question is always asked. It is unbelievable on how often that question is asked.
That depends on who you are asking in the Government as well. Is that person in the program office or contracting.
A Program Office will designate someone to develop the requirement "aka" what the Government wants to buy. That designated person has been called so many names: Project Manager, Project Officer, Point of Contact, Facilities Manager, Contracting officer Representative (COR), Program Manager, Logy, Logistics.
Or if you ask that individual," How did you get on this requirement?" Their reply sometimes, "I have no clue, it was hey you."
That individual will develop what is needed. That could be a supply, service, or construction. Yes, we could talk about Research and Development, but majority of the Government office or Military Installations use Operation and Maintenance (O&M) appropriations are used to finance “expenses” not related to military personnel or RDT&E.
If this individual is not trained. It goes like this.
1. Do we have any old contracts that have been done? "That takes too much time."
2. Google - type in key words add in city & state.
3. Can you get me a quote for this? What would this cost. Send it to blank e-mail. x 3 times.
Yes it happens. Guess what? Those 3 companies probably can't even place a quote, bid, or proposal on the requirement. Talk about wasting their time and the Governments.
The Government is not like the commercial industry, where they call someone up say, "Hey, can you come to my place and see how much it would cost to do this?" AND BOOM A CONTRACT IS DONE!! BEGIN WORK. This is a misconception (Yes there are a few exceptions and some additional layers, but the Program Office or representative from that office can obligate the Government.)
Meaning those individuals cannot sign the contract. It is an unauthorized commitment and that is another blog.
CONTRACTING OFFICERs, CONTRACT SPECIALISTs, OR PURCHASING AGENTs SEARCHES FOR THE CONTRACTORS TO PERFORM THE WORK.
But it truly doesn't matter, because they are looking for businesses that are capable of performing the work before they post it on www.gsaadvantage.gov (GSA Schedule Holders), www.fedbid.com (E-bay style) or www.fbo.gov (the main website).
So What is the Government buying determines the next course of action.
1. Is it a supply, service, or construction?
2. What North American Industry Classification System (NAICS Code) is the Government using?
3. Can two or more small business provide a quote, bid, or proposal. (BTW Quote, Bid, and Proposal are used interchangeably throughout the Contractor side, but in Government contract they mean different things.)
The following sites are searched by NAICS Codes, location, set-aside:
Then guess what happens. A lot more documentation, approval, etc. And duplication of work. I won't bore anyone with those details.
Then MAGIC, it is posted to GSA, FedBid, or FBO for companies to quote or propose on.