Is your proposal in response to a federal Request for Proposal thorough, accurate and complete? If not, chances are high that you will be eliminated from competition – which represents a waste of time and opportunity for you and a corresponding waste of time for the contracting agency.
Contracting agencies use the RFP process to identify the best supplier based on a combination of qualifications, history of achievement, timeliness, responsiveness, and cost. To have a chance at winning a contract, it is vitally important that you submit the information requested, in the level of detail requested or required by law, in the format requested.
To reduce the number of nonresponsive contracts, several federal contracting authorities have developed proposal adequacy checklists. These walk contractors through format, cost elements, subcontracts, and exceptions to certified cost or pricing data. Checklists require prospective contractors to provide the location of requested items, or an explanation of why the requested information is not provided. Checklists apply only to the cost proposal, and not to the entire proposal submission.
Agencies that rely on proposal adequacy checklists include:
- Department of Defense/Defense Acquisition Regulations System (36 items)
- Defense Contract Audit Agency (uses DFARS checklist)
- Defense Contract Management Agency (35 items)
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (34 items)
Certain RFPs, including those that require certified cost or pricing data, should require a proposal adequacy checklist to be submitted as part of the proposal (DFARS 215.408 (5)). In addition, any contracting officer has the authority to require inclusion of a checklist in response to an RFP. In any event, completing the appropriate checklist is a valuable tool to validate the adequacy of your proposal.
To learn more about proposal adequacy checklists, you can view Proposal Adequacy Checklist—The New Normal, a presentation that Robert Jones and Suzanne Camden gave for the National Contract Management Association’s World Congress in July 2014.
Our next blog post will delve into more detail about creating responsive proposals. In the meantime, if you have questions about proposal adequacy checklists or any other aspect of the RFP process, we’re here to help! Email Robert@LeftBrainPro.com or call (614) 556-4415.