Government Connections - Winter 2012 - (Page 17)
A Matter of Ethics or Etiquette?
By Ted Miller, CHME, CHSP, CGTP
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
submitting a bid for a government business opportunity involve far more than what is usually expected in the private sector. Contracting ofﬁcers may request information to be presented in varying ways and, in certain situations, bids must be submitted through speciﬁc bidding channels. A bidder can very easily be disqualiﬁed if not all of the information required is attached and submitted by the due date. Since the different branches of government do not use a standard solicitation form, bidders are sometimes unsure of what is required. To resolve this problem, bidders should contact the contracting officer for each job. There are also inconsistencies in terms of obtaining information. In some cases, interested parties are directed to submit a
question by email. While email does allow for a trail of communication (ensuring that all of the questions are available to all bidders, including the answers given), it is almost impossible to have a conversation by email, and it is very easy for someone to misunderstand the reason for a question or the way in which questions are worded. On the other hand, voice communication allows for true conversations, which generally leads to either more specific questions or better ways in which to understand answers. It is clear that treating every bidder equally is the right way to do business, but many qualified bidders just give up trying to deal with the government when the contracting officer insists on email communication only. This is where the question of ethics or etiquette comes in. We all understand the basic rules of the Federal Acquisitions Regulation and
know that once a bid closes, the contracting officer will not accept any communication from bidders until the award has been made. However, the contracting officer is allowed to communicate with any of the bidders to request additional information related to their bids. Sometimes people can become confused when they know that an award has been made, but they do not understand why the contracting officer does not make the selection of the successful bidder known in a timely fashion, or at all. As the business climate continues to improve, effective communication will be the key to motivating vendors to actively seek government solicitations. G
Ted Miller is a supplier member of the National Capital chapter.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Winter 2012
Travel Tips & Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
Location, Location, Location
OGE Proposes Ethics Changes
The Evolution of e-RFPs
Organizing More Effective Meetings
7 Deadly Sins of Small Meetings
The Meeting Minute
Government Connections - Winter 2012