The Defense Department procurement process can be puzzling and complex. There are a variety of contract types, each with its own pluses and minuses. The regulations can be intimidating since they seem to be the size of the tax code. The competition for contracts can be brutal; there are loads of paperwork. However, Defense contracting can be profitable and rewarding. That’s where Malyszek & Malyszek is here to help.
The Department of Defense (DOD) purchases typically begin at one of three points:
• normal procurement
• procurement under an existing multiple award contract
• sole source procurement
Normal procurement is split between simplified acquisitions (those below $25,000) and all the rest.
Procurements under an existing multiple award contract are becoming much more common. Multiple award contracts (MAC) such as Navy Seaport-e, GSA schedules, and Air Force NETCENTS II involve companies attaining a contract then competing for task orders. Only those companies with a multiple award contract can compete for the task orders and task orders are the work. MAC’s are valued since the number of companies that can compete for the resulting task orders is much smaller. The process for obtaining a MAC is similar to acquisitions over $25,000.
One type of multiple award contracts is Broad Agency Announcements (BAA). BAA's are solicitations issued by an agency when it seeks basic research work. Topics of interest are presented and companies and universities submit suggestions with possible solutions needing funding.
Sole source procurements are made when there is only one company that can satisfy the contract. This procurement is rare and must be recognized very well by the government. You are more likely to get a sole source procurement once you already have some government contracts and have an open contract vehicle presented.
Simplified acquisitions are purchases under $25,000 that require the government purchasing agent to obtain quotes either orally or through a short written quote. Then a purchase order is issued to the lowest accountable bidder. Simplified acquisitions are not advertised so in order to get these contracts you have to get in front of the purchasing people so they can call and get a quote from you.
Once you are awarded a contract, a contracting officer will send you a letter and contact you to negotiate a contract. If negotiations go well a contract can be finalized. Some purchases will not require negotiations so the government will issue you a purchase order. Be sure to read all documents carefully. Contracting with the Defense Department can be complicated – better to know what you are agreeing to than to find out after signing a legally binding contract.
Contact Malyszek & Malyszek today for a free initial consultation regarding matters involving the Department of Defense.