Part of a bidder’s government proposal writing efforts is to make sure that it follows the bid submission directions in the solicitation. As obvious as this may sound, companies have been known to make mistakes and cause their proposals to be rejected by the contracting agency.
In a recent case, GAO sustained a bid protest that challenged the agency’s decision to the reject the contractor’s proposal since it was submitted to an incorrect location.
Although you may follow the RFP’s instructions, an agency may then change the bid submission location after you have already submitted the proposal. At least, if you follow the RFP requirements, you could still stand a chance of winning a bid protest.
Common Government Mistakes
In the case above, the contractor submitted its proposal according to the solicitation’s terms. Then the agency changed the submission location. The offeror had already submitted its proposal.
GAO agreed that the contracting agency was in possession of the bidder’s complete proposal before the deadline for bid submission and that the proposal was out of the contractor’s control and, therefore, could not have been altered or revised after the deadline for proposal submission had passed.
Government proposal writing and bid submission requirements go hand-in-hand. Not all companies will be this lucky when they file a protest.
The best way to make sure that you follow the RFP requirements is to develop a compliance matrix. You should avoid the temptation of only reviewing Sections L and M as most companies do when they initiate the proposal writing phase. See helpful information about bid and proposal costs in protest litigation.
As part of your government proposal writing compliance efforts, always make sure that you set your company up to receive prompt notification of amendments to the solicitation. This can avoid non-compliance disputes and having to deal with government mistakes.