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The #1 Myth Federal Executives Believe About Contracting

By Donald Thomas


Despite the US Government's serious attempts at acquisition reform, Big Sky often finds that defense and security agencies are afraid to have contact with industry. This failure to exchange information and conduct solid market research results in vague or poorly defined scope, which in turn makes it almost impossible to hold the consultant or contractor accountable for results. 

The White House and OMB have been engaged in a 5-year long "mythbusting" campaign designed to debunk these myths but they persist nonetheless.

Big Sky has a carefully designed sales and contracting process that ensures that our clients are always FAR-compliant, and that takes advantage of our HubZone status. Even with our standard, repeatable, and proven process, one myth is repeated most often:

MYTH:    "We aren't allowed to meet with Big Sky one on one until after you're under contract." 

FACT:   Accounting to the White House and OMB, "The FAR, in Part 15, encourages exchanges of information with interested parties during the solicitation process, ending with the receipt of proposals. There is no requirement that the meetings include all possible offerors, nor is there a prohibition on one-on-one meetings."

Big Sky uses a 5-part process to make sure that we are exchanging information with the government in a way that is strictly compliant with the FAR. Our "Diagnostic" step, which occurs before any decision has been made by the government to issue an RFP, is designed to provide a robust information exchange with the government that does not provide our firm with preferential treatment, and also provides the government with information it can use with any offeror for any purpose. 


To see the White House's full report on myths, click on the image below.

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CONCLUSION:

Exchanging information with industry before a solicitation isn't just desirable, it's critical.  There is no other way for the government and for industry to have a clear understanding of goals and outcomes for a potential engagement. Don't succumb to the myth above, which can only result in a vague or ill-defined SOW or RFP, which will cost you more every time.


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