Did You Know….the value of the bid Evaluation Criteria?

In most government bid processes, you will see an Evaluation Criteria list in the bid document. The Evaluation Criteria guide the evaluator or evaluation team in scoring each bid response to assist in the award decision. Before submitting your bid response, review the evaluation criteria carefully and be prepared to ask questions. For example:

  • If the evaluation criteria include accurate and on-time delivery; however, the bid does not include a question that inquiries about your accurate and on-time delivery, you can contact the Contract Officer/Procurement Agent and ask what their delivery schedule requirements are after receipt of the order (purchase order/contract).
  • Brand name or equal. If the Scope of Work or Specifications lean toward a specific brand, ask the Contracting Officer/Procurement Agent to provide a specific brand name or, if applicable, an allowable alternative. Alternatively, if the bid specifies a specific brand name, ask if they will accept a comparable alternative.
  • Past performance with similar size agencies. You may not have direct experience, but you were a subcontractor on a project, or people on your team may have experience from a previous job or contract. That experience counts!
  • Lowest Compliant and/or Responsive Bidder. Evaluators review bids for compliance and often have many bids responses to review.
    • Provide legitimate email addresses and phone numbers of references.
    • Complete each bid section even if you must respond not applicable or does not apply.
    • Only include information that is requested.
    • Refrain from including marketing information.
    • If you provide links to previous examples of work, ensure the links work.
    • Be prepared to provide a Certificate of Insurance or Bid Bond when required.
  • Total Cost of Ownership. If this criterion is included, a section in the bid should ask for hourly rates, ongoing maintenance costs, service call rates, annual escalation percentage rates on goods and services, and so on. Question the Contracting Officer/Procurement Officer if supportive questions are lacking.
  • Weighted Criteria. Ask the Agency if they can share the weights of each criterion. Knowing the weights allows you to focus on criteria that carry higher weight.
  • Exceptions to the Terms and Conditions or the Scope of Work. If you take exceptions to the bid, there should be a section to explain why you are taking exceptions. Examples would be references (some references request to be confidential), trade secrets, and more.

The APEX Accelerators program (formerly known as PTAC) can review your bid response for compliance before you submit your final offer.

After the bid has been awarded, ask the Agency for a copy of the bid evaluation matrix to see where your bid landed in relation to other bidders. Evaluation matrixes should have a justification for the scoring to help interpret where you can make improvements.

Click here to learn more about the no-cost APEX Accelerators program.

For additional tips on the bid process, complete the registration for the upcoming CIRAS event on Preparing a Winning Proposal/Bid Response: https://events.blackthorn.io/en/6g82hT47/preparing-a-winning-proposal-4a4w6gooXu/overview