The federal government is the largest contractor in the United States, offering billions of dollars in contracts for goods and services each year. However, landing a government contract is a complicated process that hinges on adhering to a number of rules and procedures. Moreover, the government contracts sector is heavily regulated, involving extensive background checks and security clearance investigations. In order to clear these hurdles and solicit a successful bid, it is crucial to have proper legal representation.
At Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, we assist clients who are seeking to enter the government contracts market and provide guidance on the bidding the process. We are well versed in the related rules and practices across multiple agencies and have the skills and resources to complete the extensive work required for successfully negotiating government contracts.
Federal Government Contracts: 101
First, it is important to understand the parameters of dealing with federal purchasing agencies. In order to prevent waste, fraud and abuse, or the misappropriation of funds, government contracts are heavily regulated. Moreover, negotiating a contract invariably means dealing with experienced government attorneys. For these reasons, it helps to have a dedicated advocate in your corner to level the playing field.
The leading purchasing agent for the federal government is the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA). This agency is tasked with purchasing goods and services for all federal agencies, providing services to support government operations, and negotiating contracts for goods and services. In addition, there are three services under the GSA’s umbrella:
- The Federal Supply Service (FSS)
- The Public Buildings Service (PBS)
- The Federal Telecommunications Service (FTS)
Generally, bidding on government contract requires dealing with the FSS which is responsible for obtaining and supplying a variety of goods and services at volume-discount prices. It goes without saying that navigating this vast bureaucracy requires the guidance of the capable government contracts attorneys at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig.
What types of contracts does the Federal Supply Service offer?
There are two types of contracts available through the FSS:
- Single Award Schedule – Entered into with one supplier, for a specific product, at a set price to be delivered to a particular geographical region.
- Multiple Award Schedule – Offered to multiple vendors that supply like products and services at varied prices; the FSS will selects the lowest bid.
Solicitations for government contracts are distributed through what is referred to as the Electronic Posting System, which requires submitting a standard form that includes information such as the solicitation (or bid), commercial and manufacturer price lists, and other supporting documentation about prices and products.
Negotiating a Government Contract
Before granting a contract, the government will conduct a price analysis that is based on a number of variables including the market price for a good or service, the government’s price estimate for similar goods or services, and contracts that were recently awarded.
The government will also consider other factors such as current market conditions, competitor products and pricing, the government’s inventory of a product or service, the difference between the market price and the solicited price, concessions and other terms and conditions.
In light of the fact that the government’s objective is to obtain the best or lowest price, it is important to understand the government’s price analysis and make an offer that is likely to be accepted. In short, the bidding process is highly competitive which makes the knowledge and negotiating skills of our legal team invaluable.
Why Government Contractors Rely on Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig
Since 2001, our government contracts attorneys have advised clients across multiple industries ranging from startups to Fortune 500 domestic and international companies. Our services encompass all phases of the procurement process from solicitation and contract negotiation to performance, claims and disputes. We are well versed in the rules and procedures of the GSA and other federal agencies as well as local and state governmental entities.
In addition, Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig provides ongoing advice and counsel to clients on their rights and responsibilities under government contracts, compliance with government rules and regulations, security clearances, payment and financing issues and a wide range of related matters. Ultimately, entering into a government contract can be a lucrative opportunity that supports a company’s other business objectives. Call our experienced government contracts group today or email us at: email@example.com.