Additional Conditions To The General Conditions
How To Get Government Contracts As A Consultant: 3 Steps
By MBO Partners | June 30, 2021
Have you ever wondered how to work with the government as an independent contractor? The federal government engages more contractors than any other organization in the world, which presents many opportunities for independents. Each year, billions of dollars in contracts are set aside for small businesses, women, minorities, and veterans.
Many independent consultants look to government contracting as another option for growing their business. Follow these three steps to understand the processes, requirements, and resources needed to get government contracts as a consultant.
Nature Of Letters Of Credit
2.1 The UCP provides that letters of credit, by their nature, are separate transactions from the contracts on which they may be based and financial institutions are in no way concerned with or bound by such contracts, even if any reference whatsoever to such contracts is included in the letters of credit. In letters of credit operations, all parties concerned deal with documents, and not with goods, services and/or other performances to which the documents may relate.
2.2 The undertaking of a financial institution to pay, accept and pay bill of exchange or negotiate and/or to fulfil any other obligation under the letter of credit, is not subject to claims or defences by the Applicant resulting from its relationships with the financial institution or the Crown.
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Small Business Preference In Federal Contracting
Under the Small Businesses Administration , the federal government has enacted several programs to help small businesses break into the federal contracting market. The SBA has created several programs that create a preference for businesses meeting specific eligibility criteria either based on ownership of disadvantaged people or geography. These programs are designed for set-aside contracts that do not go through the competitive contracting process. Rather, these contracts are sole-source contracts designed to fill specific federal government needs. Specifically, small contracts ranging between $3,500 and $150,000 are set aside for certain small businesses.
The SBAs 8 preference category seeks to assist small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals successfully bid for federal contracts. To be eligible for 8 preference, the small business must be owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual. Proof of disadvantage is required for eligibility and the business owners must demonstrate good character and potential for success.
The HUBZone preference category helps small businesses located in economically disadvantaged regions mapped by the SBA. The HUBZone Maps can be found on the SBAs website. While many of the HUBZone regions are economically depressed rural areas, some economically depressed urban areas are also included.
Obtain A Employer Identification Number
While some small businesses prefer to operate off of the owners social security number, the government does require its contractors or vendors to have an employer identification number . If you need to obtain an EIN, you may do so for free through the IRS. Think of this number as a social security number for your business.
Records Of Invitations For Bids And Records Of Bids
Each contracting officeshall retain a record of each invitation that it issues and each abstract or record of bids. Contracting officers shall review and utilize the information available in connection with subsequent acquisitions of the same or similar items.
The file for each invitation shall show the distribution that was made and the date the invitation was issued. The names and addresses of prospective bidders who requested the invitation and were not included on the original solicitation list shall be added to the list and made a part of the record.
World Trade Organization Agreement On Government Procurement
8.7.1 The WTO-AGP is a multilateral agreement that aims to secure greater international competition for government procurement. The WTO-AGP came into effect on January 1, 1996. Member countries include Canada, the European Communities, the United States, Japan, Korea, Israel, Norway and Switzerland. The WTO-AGP replaces the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Government Procurement Code by extending the previous coverage of goods to include services and construction. The national treatment and non-discrimination provisions and procurement procedures of the WTO-AGP are similar to those of NAFTA.
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You Bid On Every Government Contract Available
If you are a small business owner who wants to enter the government contracting industry, sending out as many contract proposals as possible to secure your win seems like a viable option. But it isnt!
When sending out a contract bid, you say that you can confidently deliver the requested task. Your proposal should reflect your competence and willingness to commit to excellence. Anything less than what you have promised will only tarnish your reputation thus, killing any chance to win government contracts in the future.
Submitting contract proposals to projects you are underqualified for is like shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you want to step out of your comfort zone by bidding on a project that is different from what you usually do, you should still find a way to play it to your strengths. Winning government contracts isnt about sending contract proposals to all government buyers. Instead of wasting your precious resources, you should learn how to pick the best federal contract to bid on. Try to search for bidding opportunities that require your expertise!
Create An Outline For Your Government Contract Proposal
The secret in crafting an effective contract proposal is thorough and strategic planning. Once you have done all the preparations from the earlier points, you should lay down a contract outline.
Having a proposal layout before writing down your contract bid will ensure that your document will not veer away from your main message and contract goals. Additionally, this will lessen the risk of overlooking important information youll otherwise miss if you just blindly ventured into writing your contract bid.
To help you craft your outline, look again at the sections of the RFP sent to you, then try to address them one by one. After you have laid out all the points, you can start to write your proposal.
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How To Find Out About Bid Opportunities
Many departments and agencies have the delegated authority to purchase their own goods valued at $25,000 or less and services or construction contracts valued at $40,000 or less without Public Works and Government Services Canada . Therefore, it is important to promote your goods and/or services to them.
You should also consult the Tenders minisite to keep track of requirements that departments and agencies publicly advertise.
Find The Contracts & Create A Sam Profile
You will also need to provide your North American Industry Classification System codes. Create a list of codes that best describe the products or services that your business provides.
When your SAM profile is complete, you are ready to bid on government contracts that match well with your business service offer. Your SAM profile will also provide the information needed to receive direct payments from the government for work completed after you have been awarded a contract.
Once you are registered as a vendor with the government, you can explore the different options that are available for researching, evaluating, and bidding on government contract opportunities. Remember that if you are certified as a small, minority- or women-owned business, you may qualify for preferential access to certain contracts.
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Finding Government Contracts For Bid
There are a few different avenues for seeking out government contracts, including:
SAM.gov, which stands for System for Award Management, is a government-wide database for vendors seeking out government contracts. This will be your go-to avenue for finding prime contracts to bid on, in which your business works directly with government agencies. Learn more about SAM registration here.
One way you can get your foot in the door with government agencies is through subcontracting. As mentioned above, vendors who get contracts directly with agencies are known as prime contractors. Subcontractors, on the other hand, are brought on by the prime contractors to help complete a portion of the work designated by the prime contractor.
You can find available subcontracting opportunities via the SBAs searchable database, SUB-Net. If this is your first time working for a government agency and youre not familiar with the proposal process, this is a great place to get started.
If youre unsure about which government agencies your small business is best suited for, working with a bid-matching service can help you navigate contracting opportunities. Check out your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center to see if they offer free bid-matching services . This is especially useful for first-time contractors, as PTAC can connect you with experienced government contracting mentors who can support you through the proposal process.
Bid Evaluation And Award
Once the government buyer receives all the bids, the evaluation and award process begins. Here is an outline of what happens.
Non-Negotiated Bids : If the solicitation is an Invitation for Bid a non-negotiated, sealed bid situation where best valued bidder winsthe bid is opened and the information is recorded on what is referred to as a “bid abstract.” This will be used as the bid history database. The abstract contains, in order of opening, the names of the bidding companies, the items being bid, the prices quoted, and any other information that the bidding officer deems relevant.
This is important information that could prove to be very useful to you, whether you get the bid or not. And since the information contained in the bid abstract is considered public information, you can get it just by asking. The government buying office will send you a copy of the abstract if you enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope along with your bid. You should also include a letter stating that you are requesting the bid abstract under the Freedom of Information Act.
Tools to use
Among the Business Tools are Sample Information Requests from Government Officials.
With this information in hand, you can see where you stand in the bidding process. If your price quote is in the upper third of the price ranking, you are outside the competitive range. If you find yourself in the middle third, you’re getting there. If you are in the lower third, you are in the right place.
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Preparation Of T1204 Supplementary Slips For Contracts For Services
16.15.1 As mentioned at paragraph 4.2.6 of this policy, pursuant to paragraph 221 of the Income Tax Act, payments exceeding $500.00 made by departments and agencies under applicable service contracts, including contracts involving a mix of goods and services, must be reported on a T1204 supplementary slip.
16.15.2 Departments must report on a T1204 any payments related to printing contracts in the manner indicated in this section.
16.15.3 Exceptions. Contract purchases for services that are exempt under this requirement are direct purchases made using acquisition cards, direct purchases under local purchase orders, grants and contributions, utility payments, and rental or leasing of office space and equipment and other “goods”.
16.15.4 The amount to be reported on each information slip is the total of payments made to the enterprise in the calendar year, including any goods portion, expenses, indirect costs, etc., but excluding GST/HST.
16.15.5 All forms of enterprises should receive these slips, including sole proprietorships , corporations and partnerships.
16.15.6 Slips are required for service contracts where a Canadian resident is working outside the country. The payments made to non-residents providing services in Canada are not reported on T1204 supplementary slips, not being part of this reporting requirement. See section 16.15 for information on tax treatment of non-residents who perform services in Canada.
Submission Modification And Withdrawal Of Bids
Bidders are responsible for submitting bids, and any modifications or withdrawals, so as to reach the Government office designated in the invitation for bid by the time specified in the IFB. They may use any transmission method authorized by the IFB . If no time is specified in the IFB, the time for receipt is 4:30 p.m., local time, for the designated Government office on the date that bids are due.
Any bid, modification, or withdrawal of a bid received at the Government office designated in the IFB after the exact time specified for receipt of bids is “late” and will not be considered unless it is received before award is made, the contracting officer determines that accepting the late bid would not unduly delay the acquisition and-
If it was transmitted through an electronic commerce method authorized by the IFB, it was received at the initial point of entry to the Government infrastructure not later than 5:00 p.m. oneworking day prior to the date specified for receipt of bids or
There is acceptable evidence to establish that it was received at the Government installation designated for receipt of bids and was under the Governments control prior to the time set for receipt of bids.
However, a late modification of an otherwise successful bid, that makes its terms more favorable to the Government, will be considered at any time it is received and may be accepted.
The date and hour of receipt.
The envelope, wrapper, or other evidence of the date of receipt.
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How To Do Business With The Forest Service
Doing business with the Federal government, including the Forest Service, can be complicated. The following information is intended to provide a brief overview of the steps necessary to position a business concern to do business with the Forest Service and the Federal government. Also contacts are provided regarding additional resources that will assist a business concern in understanding the processes of doing business with the Forest Service and other Federal government agencies.
Step One: be formed in a business-like way –To successfully bid and perform Federal government and Forest Service contracts, businesses are expected to follow applicable Federal, state and local law. From a business perspective, this includes being appropriately registered as a business under state and local rules, carrying adequate insurance including workers compensation if an employer, and in the case of construction contracts having the ability to adequately bond projects under the Federal governments surety bonding requirements which are different than the state license bonding requirements required of some businesses. A computer, or computer access, is also needed and a valid email addressas contracting in the Federal government is dependent in many cases on computer processes through on-line databases. When formed in a business like way, a business is then ready to learn more about winning contracts with the Federal government.
How To Bid On Government Contracts
Before you can bid on government contracts, you must register your small business. This on its own is where many small businesses might cut their losses, as the registration process can be arduous and overwhelming. You can learn more about the process here, or go ahead and set up a conversation with a registration specialist who can support you during these first crucial steps.
Once youve registered your business, you will then need to set about the task of finding government contracts for bid and responding to requests for proposals.
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Advance Contract Award Notices
An ACAN is a public notice published on the Tenders minisite for 15 calendar days indicating to the supplier community that a department or agency intends to award a contract for goods, services or construction to a pre-identified supplier, thereby allowing other suppliers to signal their interest in bidding by submitting a statement of capabilities. If no supplier submits a statement of capabilities that meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, on or before the closing date stated, the buyer will proceed with the contract award.
When a department or agency claims that there is only one source for a requirement, PWGSC scrutinizes the situation very carefully. If you feel your company can fulfill the requirement set out in an ACAN, you can submit a statement of capabilities for this requirement. If in fact your statement meets the requirements, the buyer will then proceed with the competitive process.
How Contracts Are Awarded
After evaluating bids, Procurement Services will issue a contract to the successful supplier.
The name of the successful supplier, award date, and the contracted prices will be available on the Alberta Purchasing Connection following the contract award.
Unsuccessful suppliers will be debriefed by Procurement Services, upon request.
The solicitation will specify if the award will be made to one or more suppliers.
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