A Framework for Understanding Federal Contracting
By: Charlie Cole, Guest Blogger
When the Great Recession struck, many businesses turned their focus to the federal market. This is particularly true with respect to construction. In fact, according to the Savannah US Army Corp of Engineers (USACOE), the average number of bidders on all solicitations has gone from 8-12 to 80-90 over the span of four years. While it is understandable that firms would follow the money, the maze that is federal contracting holds within it traps for the unsuspecting.
Unlike private sector contracting, which is governed generally by contracts between the parties, federal projects are governed by a variety of rules, regulations, and statutes. These laws set forth the manner in which projects are let or negotiated, how the project is administered, and how the contractor is compensated. In addition, a host of government goals and social policies are addressed through government contracting.
My goal in this series is two-fold: first, provide you a general insight into the federal government’s contracting process; and, second, to examine subjects that I consider critical to the process.
Those interested in selling goods or services to the federal government must develop a strong stomach for rules and regulations, acronyms, and red tape. In my next guest blog, I will provide a brief background on the laws and regulations that govern this field.
Photo courtesy of Be Present Photos