Guide to Winning Federal Government Contracts

(ISBN 1-929868-65-0, January 2004, 270 pgs., 8.5x11, $125)

Get a better chance of winning competitions for federal contracts!

The federal government is one of the largest purchasers of architecture, engineering, construction, planning, and environmental services in the world. Federal agencies can be attractive and reliable clients, particularly in a down economy. But competition for most contracts is fierce, and procurement rules can seem overwhelming. How can you differentiate yourself from the competition, make sense of the market, and win federal government work? The Guide to Winning Federal Government Contracts for A/E/C & Environmental Consulting Firms will show you how.

This new publication from ZweigWhite will take you step-by-step through the process of identifying opportunities, preparing effective proposals, and winning federal government contracts. It cuts through the complexity of the market and provides you with straightforward, easy-to-understand information and recommendations that you can use to help your firm pursue federal contracts as a prime contractor or as a subcontractor or consultant. Whether your firm already works with the federal government of is looking to jump into the market, this guide is an essential resource to increase your volume of federal government work.

The Guide to Winning Federal Government Contracts for A/E/C & Environmental Consulting Firms provides specific information you can use to target specific opportunities and plan a successful strategy for winning federal government work. It provides an overview of the market, identifying the ways the federal government procures services— such as sealed bidding, negotiated acquisitions, micro-purchases, and special procedures for A/E selection. It also describes a wide range of contract types it awards— ranging from firm-fixed-price to cost-reimbursable; from micro-purchases to multi-year, task order type contracts; and from single-agency contracts to government-wide contracts, such as GSA Schedules. This guide also describes methods you can use to identify specific opportunities to compete for federal contracts and provides advice on methods and criteria your firm can use in making "bid/no-bid" decisions on individual procurements.

The guide also provides you with advice on how to respond to individual topic areas that firms must often address in their proposals when responding to federal solicitations. You’ll find out how to achieve your best possible past performance score, how to describe corporate experience, how to write an effective management plan, and how to prepare a compelling personnel section. You’ll also get advice for the technical approach section, a framework for developing a price/cost strategy, and pointers for preparing representations and certifications. In addition, you’ll find out how to maximize your oral presentation score and learn why and how to get a debriefing from the federal government, whether you win or lose.

Break out from the crowd and find out how you can increase your volume of federal government work, whether you are entering the market or have been there for years. Buy a copy of the Guide to Winning Federal Government Contracts for A/E/C & Environmental Consulting Firms today.

About the Author:

The Guide to Winning Federal Government Contracts for A/E/C & Environmental Consulting Firms is written by Dave Alexander of Lincoln Strategies, LLC ( An advisor to firms interested in entering the federal market or expanding their presence in the market, Mr. Alexander has more than 20 years of relevant experience. As President and CEO of The Cadmus Group, Inc., between 1990 and 2000, he led the firm to a quadrupling of its federal government revenues. Previously, he was a Vice President at ICF, Inc., and a Senior Principal at American Management Systems, Inc., both of which are major federal contractors. In each of these positions, his responsibilities included identifying federal business opportunities, developing capture strategies, and leading the preparation of proposals.


Chapter 1: Introduction
Major federal government clients • Key advantages and disadvantages of federal contracts • Key terminology • What you’ll learn

Chapter 2: How the federal government procures services
Introduction • Sealed bidding for procurements over $100,000 • Negotiated acquisitions for procurements over $100,000 • Simplified acquisitions • Micro-purchases • Acquisitions of Architect-Engineering (A-E) services • Two-phase design-build procurement process • Acquisition of commercial services • Set-asides and other techniques to encourage participation by special categories of business concerns • A note on multiple awards • Unsolicited proposals

Chapter 3: Types of contracts awarded by the federal government
Introduction • Major categories of contracts • Task order contracts • GSA Schedules

Chapter 4: How to identify federal business opportunities
Introduction • Intelligence-gathering objectives • Information and advisory resources

Chapter 5: How to Make Bid/No-Bid Decisions
Introduction • Phase 1: Search for Opportunities— With a Strategic Focus • Phase 2: Screen opportunity • Phase 3: Analyze opportunities and make bid/no-bid decision (or send to next phase) • Phase 4: Further analyze opportunity and make bid/no-bid decision • Lowering costs and frustrations in the bid/no-bid process • Develop "Win Themes"

Chapter 6: How to achieve your best possible past performance score
Introduction • Performance evaluation reports • Steps to effectively participate in performance evaluation process • Past performance information obtained from proposals and references • Keys to presenting past performance in a proposal or SF 254/255 submission • Other past performance information evaluation panels can consider • Past performance information on subcontractors

Chapter 7: How to describe corporate experience

Chapter 8: How to write an effective management plan

Chapter 9: How to prepare a personnel section
Introduction • Stage 1: Identify staffing requirements at a detailed level • Stage 2: Develop and implement a staffing plan • Stage 3: Prepare the personnel chapter (Including resumes)

Chapter 10: Advice for the "Understanding of the Problem" and "Technical Approach" sections

Chapter 11: How to prepare representations and certifications
What are reps and certs? • Pointers on preparing reps and certs

Chapter 12: Framework for developing a price/cost strategy
Introduction • Price/cost targeting • Understanding how the procuring agency evaluates price/cost proposals • Assessing and managing risk

Chapter 13: How to maximize your oral presentation score

Chapter 14: Why and how to get a debriefing— Win or lose
Introduction • When you can request a debriefing • Information that the government will (and will not) provide in a debriefing • Hints for a productive session

Appendix A: Uniform format for typical IFBs and RFPs
Appendix B: Classification codes
Appendix C: Numbered notes in notices published in FedBizOpps and the Commerce Business Daily
Appendix D: Checklist of management systems and procedures