The federal acquisition process entails the necessary procedures, regulations, and steps taken by the United States government to supply and acquire services. The process aims to deliver quality supply or services to the customer on time while maintaining the public’s trust and achieving policy objectives. The federal acquisition process consists of the pre-solicitation stage, solicitation-award stage, and post-award administration stage. This paper will discuss the acquisition procedures while summarizing a related article on the GovPurchase website.
The federal acquisition process is initiated by the identification of a need by a federal activity. A contracting officer, who is permitted to negotiate government contracts, will then be engaged. Preparation of a proposal begins after a request for the same is received. The response application must include a duplicate of the work statement. It must also comprise the contractor’s plan of approach to performing the work statement, project management approach, and previous performances in similar projects (Olanrewaju & Maciejowski, 2017). The proposal’s length is supposed to be shortened by focusing on the work statement’s information. For more complex acquisitions, the contractor should indicate how they plan to eliminate the risks to the government acquisition.
Acquisition planning by the contracting officer initiates the federal acquisition process. The procurement planning varies depending on the circumstances and the acquirement instructions of the agency. The planning process involves the government’s determination of the buying power leverage and the program’s benefits to the government. Poor time management sometimes leads to the illegal issuing of contracts to known vendors because of the absence of advanced planning. Furthermore, it leads to an increase in the cost of acquisition since the contractor is forced to rush. These contractors who are made to work in a hurry mostly generate poor and undesirable results.
Therefore, effective market research is essential to the government since the market assessment gives the management an understanding of industry terminology, and the service or item required concepts. It also assists in the identification of reliable contractors of the desired item or service. Furthermore, inadequate market research usually leads to contract failures and a lack of fulfillment of objectives. Contracting involves safety allocation and minimization to ensure the achievement of objectives as planned. The contract should describe the work expectations and the expected payoffs (Girth & Snider, 2018). The risk encountered during contracting is also reduced by eliminating requirements over bundling. Over bundling, requirements lead to creating a vague work statement that will make it difficult for the contractor to cost and time estimates. Many factors can affect the contracting process used in the acquisition process. These factors include price, type of acquisition, buying patterns, existing contract vehicles, mandatory sources, small business and socioeconomic issues and the government workload.
Source selection is then conducted by assessing contractor proposals and responses to the work statements. The Procurement Integrity Act governs the federal source selection personnel (GovPurchase, 2021). The source selection committee is provided with a source selection plan instructing them on how the evaluation of each proposal is to be done. The committee should also base its decision on facts that are accepted in court. Source selection adheres to principles, including awarding the contract and awarding the contract based on the definition, documentation of decisions, and the use of a competitive range. The article describes the government’s steps to acquire services or items required for specific federal activities. It details the essential requirements for contractors who plan on providing the services or supplying the items needed. The article also describes the planning and source selection process. It indicates the challenges faced during the planning and the selection criteria used for awarding contracts.
Girth, A., & Snider, K. (2018). Acquisition in U.S. federal agencies: Evidence from the world’s largest buyer. Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, 4(1-2), 3-5. Web.
GovPurchase. (2021). Federal Government Acquisition Process – GovPurchase. GovPurchase. Web.
Olanrewaju, O., & Maciejowski, J. (2017). Implications of discretization on dissipativity and economic model predictive control. Journal of Process Control, 49, 1-8. Web.