Some Problems and Resolutions Encountered in the Procurement Process

There are many reasons why a lot of proposals for government contracts submitted by businesses and companies fail. Cost estimates and budgets, for one, are neither realistic nor feasible. In addition, such proposals are aimed more at succeeding in the procurement process and obtaining the contract rather than the workability of the calculations made for the project which would have a potentially significant and damaging effect to the company’s survival should the contract be awarded to it.

Businesses interested in the procurement process are advised to hire the services of competent financial advisers to ensure that the preparation and assessment of their proposed contract’s projected costs meet the requirements of the government agency involved. Not only that, these financial experts can also provide strategic guidance on the economic advantages of a certain contract.

As public awareness concerning the procurement process continually increases, more companies are turning to the government for project opportunities. Consequently, there have also been increasing controversies and disputes in so far as awarding of government contracts is concerned. Government purchasing agencies hold significant autonomy in the way they hand out awards to businesses. Their extreme authority and discretion in the procurement process have sparked challenges to the way they operate.

In order to address these issues and help smooth out the procurement process, procedures have been instituted to enable those who have complaints to contest decisions involving the awarding of contracts. In general, a company is given the privilege of being informed when its proposal is not accepted in favor of a bid higher than it placed. The business is also given due notice when its proposal is deemed unsuitable or if the requirements submitted are incomplete. It is also given the right to lodge a protest for what it may deem to be unjust awards to other firms.

If the proposal of the complainant did not conform to the government agency’s requirements, the case usually fails to prosper. If the protest concerns a competitor company that won the bid, an investigation is pursued and hearings may be conducted. Such hearings are usually quite loosely conducted, having different regulations and levels of formality and procedures, depending on the government agency involved. If the agency upholds its decision and does not turn over the award to the protesting vendor, the latter has an option to file a legal case or settle the matter through an alternative resolution of dispute or other means.

Challenging such decisions is generally worthwhile only if the legal costs can comfortably be accommodated by the profit margin expected from the awarding of a contract. It is also worth considering that the protest should have a legal and legitimate basis for it to have a chance at prospering in the first place. One should also keep in mind that there are potentially inherent risks in challenging and antagonizing the agency involved in the procurement process primarily because in the long run that government entity becomes a rewarding ally for small to medium contractors and enterprises.

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