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Understanding the Sealed Bidding Process

Understanding the Sealed Bidding Process

Many roofing or contracting businesses have enjoyed success working on commercial and residential projects, so, naturally, they are ready for the next step and want to transition into procuring lucrative government projects. Considering that the U.S. government invests billions of dollars every year into a variety of products and services, it makes sense that construction professionals of all types of trades want to get involved. Of course, the process of successfully procuring government contracts is vastly different than agreeing to perform work for a homeowner or business owner. 

In this brief article, construction industry advocates with Cotney Construction Lobbying will provide a brief overview of the sealed bidding process utilized by most government agencies to select vendors for projects. If you are interested in government contract procurement, you need a reliable advocate in your corner that has years of experience successfully procuring government contracts for their clients. To start securing government projects, speak with the attorneys and lobbyists of Cotney Construction Lobbying today.     

Researching Government Projects

If you are just getting started in government work, you will first need to learn more about potential procurement opportunities and the necessary requirements to work on these projects. A great place to get started is to visit government databases that provide information on contract opportunities and contract data related to these projects. For example, the System for Award Management (SAM) is a database that provides companies with the opportunity to view government contracts and register as a government vendor in the database. 

Be Mindful of Submitting Your Own Bids

Although you can register your business and apply for projects through SAM, there are many pitfalls when applying for projects through a database system. Similarly, if you participate in a sealed bidding process without partnering with a professional or company that is extremely familiar with this process, this can also lead to serious gaffes. Sealed bidding is a complicated process that requires contractors to follow a strict criteria to remain eligible for procurement. 

Some common mistakes made by contractors during the bid process include:

  • Incomplete bid forms
  • Failure to submit all required documents
  • Failing to be prequalified by the agency to make a bid proposal
  • Absence from a mandatory pre-bid meeting
  • Submitting the bid past the deadline
  • Mathematical errors 

Of course, these mistakes don’t include the issues that can arise when you are awarded a poorly evaluated bid that you can’t maintain. For example, if your bid total is too low or you made a material pricing estimate mistake in your bid, you could be awarded a bid that ends up costing your firm significant capital to satisfy. 

Whether it’s a bid package error or a mistake evaluating the project, it’s important to seek the guidance of a construction industry advocate that can assist you every step of the way. Another benefit of working with Cotney Construction Lobbying is that our lawyers and industry advocates understand how to compile an attractive bid proposal that will set you apart from your competition.  

The Three Basic Principles of Submitting a Sealed Bid

As we discussed above, if you’re interested in getting involved in local, state, or federal government projects, you’ll need to navigate through a lot of red tape. Whether you elect to submit your own bid or you contact an experienced professional, any successful bid begins with the review of the Invitation For Bid (IFB). An IFB is essentially the project guideline that notifies the applicant of:

  • The scope of work or service the agency intends on acquiring 
  • The instructions to submit a qualified bid package 
  • Any contract information, including payment clauses
  • The deadline for successfully submitting the bid

Although the criteria an agency takes to select a sealed bid winner for federal, state, and local agencies can differ depending on the project needs and other factors, when you submit a bid, you should consider these things to ensure your bid is qualified for any type of government work:

1) A proposed bid will only be selected if it’s intelligible to the agency. In other words, if the bid proposal isn’t clear, you won’t have a reason to cheer. 

2) The proposal needs to be error-free. An agency may make exceptions for honest mistakes, but any serious gaffe will eliminate the proposal from competition. 

3) The bid package needs to be complete. To be considered, you have to follow the agency’s strict guidelines and check off all the appropriate boxes.   

Although these points are all straightforward, you’d be amazed by the number of people who fail to perform these basic steps to submit a successful bid package. After a sealed bid is submitted by the deadline and enforced by the agency, each sealed bid is opened in a public forum and reviewed. All bids are evaluated by the agency, and the vendor awarded the bid is typically the lowest bidder that meets the qualifications of the project. 

Whether you own a large construction firm or a small contracting business, you can secure lucrative government contracts. To learn the ins and outs of the bid process or for assistance with procuring state and local projects with government agencies, consult the knowledgeable attorneys and lobbyists of Cotney Construction Lobbying today. 

If you would like to speak with a construction industry advocate from Cotney Construction Lobbying, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Cotney Construction Lobbying, LLC does not provide legal services and any statements made on this website are intended to apply only to non-legal, lobbying services.