When evaluating a government proposal, the agency almost always uses a best value procurement RFP evaluation process for negotiated procurements. This concept comes into play when the Agency ultimately looks at the competing proposals and makes a subjective determination as to which proposal best suits the government’s needs. When you submit a government bid, understand that price is not always the final factor. Although some may argue that at the end of the day federal agencies only look at price for contract award, the solicitation requirements usually state otherwise. Therefore, for purposes of filing a bid protest or other action challenging source selection, you will have to show why the agency did not follow the solicitation requirements.
The government best value evaluation also includes best price evaluations. A common hurdle for government contract bidders to overcome is having an understanding of the Agency’s best value contracting process.
If your in-house government proposal writers are not intimately familiar with the Agency’s internal regulatory and best value contracting legal requirements, CEO’s may run the risk of losing the contract based upon the Agency’s best value procurement evaluation of a competitor.
After award, the only way to successfully challenge the Agency’s best value RFP evaluation process for your bid is to allege in a bid protest that government’s scoring was arbitrary and capricious.
Under Administrative Law, this is a tough standard to meet. Therefore, the best approach to a contractor’s proposal writing strategy is to be equipped with how the agency will evaluate the proposal.
- The agency only has to provide enough information in the solicitation to reasonably inform bidders on the general best value evaluation process.
- The government does not have to provide its internal source selection document (more detailed)
Substantial Discretion in Best Value Evaluation Process
When it comes to the contractor’s best value Evaluation process, Procurement officials have substantial discretion to decide which proposal represents the best value for the government. However, the Agency must document its source selection decision.
After considering all the offerors’ proposals, references, and any final proposal revisions (FPRs), government contracting agencies will make a final source selection determination that an award to your company could provide the best value. However, you have to give them a reason in your proposal to justify the award.
Best Price Evaluations and Differences
Government contracting agencies can reach the best value contracting evaluation decision although there may be a price difference between your proposal and that of the competition. This also leads to best price evaluations. For example, if your competitor has a superior technical proposal and a higher price, there is nothing stopping the source selection team from going to the higher-priced proposal.
- The government is not required to go to a lower bidder unless the solicitation is the lowest price technically acceptable proposal.
In negotiated procurements where the Solicitation expressly states that non-price factors are significantly more important than price, the contracting officer can find a reason to justify the higher technical evaluation in the process.
- Bidders should always put a significant amount of effort in technical proposal writing.
- Trying to submit rock-bottom prices does not guarantee the award.
Cost or price to the government must be included in every RFP as an evaluation factor, and agencies must consider cost or price to the government in evaluating competitive proposals. See 41 USC 253a(c)(1)(B) (1994) and FAR 15.304(c)(1). See additional information about cost evaluation methods.
Government Agencies do Make Best Value Evaluation Process Mistakes
Requirement for best price evaluations: Given the above information, when it comes to best value contracting and source selection evaluation criteria, contracting agencies must document whether an awardee’s higher-rated proposal was worth its higher price when conducting the best value evaluation process.
Federal government contractors will sometimes lose out because their proposal does not elaborate on critical information.
- You can lower your risk in the agency’s best value source selection determination when you articulate important details – especially for a factor that has a significant amount of weight.
Because an agency’s best value procurement evaluation is dependent upon the information furnished in a proposal, it is the offeror’s burden to furnish an adequately written proposal for the agency to evaluate.
Government Looks at Technical Best Value Evaluations Over Price Evaluations
Best value contracting and best price evaluations processes are among the most highly contested issue in bid protests. Many small business contractors find themselves challenging the Agency’s choice but can improve their proposal writing strategies if they first understand the agency’s discretion to decide which RFP provides the best value, and develop responses to RFP that focus on getting more strengths than weakness – proposals that help the government justify its contract award. Read more about contracting by negotiation and best value source selection process.
For additional helping with improving your likelihood of getting better results in the best value evaluation process, call our bid protest lawyers at 1.866.601.5518.