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Disqualification Letter
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Writing an RFP

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The acronym RFP stands for Request for Proposals. So, what is a request for proposal?

Definition of a Request for Proposal

A request for proposals (RFP) is basically a publication of detailed requirements by a prospective buyer in order to receive vendor offerings.

Usually dedicated to software evaluation, comparison, and selection, a request for proposal  may be issued to select any kind of products (tangibles) and services (non-tangibles). RFP publication is an efficient tool to gather solution capabilities, which are then put into a decision matrix allowing the selection of the solution that best fits the requirements.

Thus, the RFP is seen as the bridge between expressed needs and solutions sought.

Preparation and issuance of a request for proposal from an RFP template is one step of the acquisition life cycle process defined in an acquisition plan template worthy of the name.

RFP is also known as: request for proposals, request for bids, request to bid, invitation to bid, ITB, invitation to tender, ITT, invitation for bids, IFB, free RFP template, free technical requirements questionnaire.

RFP Template and Sample

The request for proposals or RFP template is part of your FREE RFP Toolkit. You will find in it, amongst others, templates and samples of a cover letter, letter of intent, rejection letter, etc, and of course the RFP template.

How to write a professional RFP

Information Gathering

It is highly recommended that you to read the suggestions below in order to write a proper and successful RFP.

  1. Seems obvious but use a formal letterhead and do not handwrite your RFP. Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Toolkit, 2014 Edition to create your own professional RFP document. Indeed, using an a template and sample of an RFP will save you time.
     
  2. Identify all the key common sections of an RFP you should include by simply answering each and any of the questions Why? Who? What? How? and When? as shown below:
     
    1. WHY?
      Why does your organization need to buy a new solution?
      Answering this question allows you to create the section called Statement of Purpose.
       
    2. WHO?
      Provide a brief description of your organization.
      This information will become the Background information.
       
    3. WHAT?
      What is the nature of your project?
      What are the needs?
      What are the expected outcomes?
      Answering these questions allows you to complete the following sections:
      • Scope of Work
      • Outcome and Performance Standards
      • Deliverables
         
    4. HOW?
      What is the contract?
      What kind of information and documents do you expect to receive from providers?
      How will proposals be evaluated and the best matching solution selected?
      This information will be used for the sections:
      • Term of Contract
      • Payments, Incentives, and Penalties
      • Contractual Terms and Conditions
      • Requirements for Proposal Preparation
      • Evaluation and Award Process
         
    5. WHEN?
      When to submit questions, proposal?
      When the decision will be taken?
      What is the whole selection process timeframe?
      Who are the people responsible for evaluating proposals? For taking the final decision?
      Answering these questions allows you to populate both sections Process Schedule, and Points of contact for future correspondence.

Common Sections of an RFP

By answering the questions above, you were able to gather relevant information that will help you detail the common sections of an RFP. Here is a brief description for each and any of the common sections of your RFP:

  1. Statement of Purpose
    Describe the general scope, nature, specifications, and purpose of goods, products, and services to be acquired in a manner that will enable providers to early decide to submit either an offer or a no-proposal letter (or a no-bid letter).
     
  2. Background Information
    Present a brief overview of your organization and its operations in a company profile section (use our Free Company Profile Template). Use statistics, customer demographics and psychographics. State your strengths and weaknesses honestly. Don't forget to include comprehensive information on the people who will handle future correspondence.
     
  3. Scope of Work
    Specify the different project phases broken down into tasks, detailing their objectives, timeline, and provisions in competitive procurement. Enumerate future tasks, obligations, and responsibilities for the soliciting organization, the contractor, and sub-contractors, if any, in regards to the performance of the contract (e.g., specific measurement of outcomes, acceptance criteria).
     
  4. Outcome and Performance Standards
    Specify the outcome targets, minimal performance standards expected from the contractor, and methods for monitoring performance and process for implementing corrective actions.
     
  5. Deliverables
    Provide a list of all products, reports, and plans that will be delivered to your organization and propose a delivery schedule.
     
  6. Term of Contract
    Specify length, start date and end date of the contract, as well as information about payment schedule and amount, and renewal options.
     
  7. Payments, Incentives, and Penalties
    List all the terms of payment for adequate performance. Highlight the basis for incentives for superior performance and penalties for inadequate performance or lack of compliance.
     
  8. Contractual Terms and Conditions
    Specify length, start date and end date of the contract, as well as specific clauses for governing law, performance and default, termination and renewal, protest procedures, cost for proposal preparation, confidentiality, intellectual property, subcontracting, advertising of the contract award, compliance with laws and regulations, insurance, and indemnity.
     
  9. Requirements for Proposal Preparation
    A consistent structure in terms of content, information, and documents types simplifies things for the people evaluating the proposals. Therefore, you should request a particular structure for the proposal and provide an exhaustive list of documents you want to receive.
     
  10. Evaluation and Award Process
    Outline the general procedures, criteria, and relative priorities used to evaluate and rank proposals, and make the final selection decision.
     
  11. Process Schedule
    Clearly and concisely present the timeline for the steps leading to the final decision, such as the dates and deadlines for submitting the letter of intent, sending questions and extension requests, attending the pre-proposal conference, withdrawing and submitting the proposal, filing a protest, etc.
     
  12. Contacts
    Include a complete list of people to contact for information on the RFP, or with any other questions. Incorporate their name, title, responsibilities, and the various ways of contacting them into this list.
And remember:

FREE RFP Letters Toolkit, 2014 EditionWANT AN RFP TEMPLATE?
Learn tips on how to write a professional, very appealing RFP from the RFP template provided in your FREE RFP Toolkit, 2014 Edition and let providers propose creative, relevant, and cost-effective solutions by focusing on the end, not the means.

You will find in it lots of templates and samples of professional RFP letters, including an RFP template.

It's FREE!

 

"No doubt that these templates save time. Particularly the RFP template."
- Pascal PERRY

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POGO Urges OSTP to Ensure that Agency Scientific Integrity Plans Include Contractors and Grantees

POGO is pleased to see that most federal departments and agencies have finally made public their draft or final scientific integrity plans in response to President Obama's March 2009 Memorandum on Scientific Integrity. However, POGO is concerned that several agencies have not included contractors or grantees in their plans. The failure to ensure the integrity of science performed outside the government but funded with taxpayer dollars is particularly troubling given that some of these departments or agencies—such as the Department of Energy (DOE)—rely heavily or nearly entirely on contractors and grantees for scientific research. .

14 Federal Agencies Fail to Fulfill the President's Directive: Billions in Taxpayer-Funded Science Not Included in Integrity Plans and Policies

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Food and Drug Administration were two of 14 federal agencies that failed to set proper scientific standards for contract and grantee researchers, despite the fact that tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money funds this science each year, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said in a letter sent today to the Obama administration..

POGO Supports DoD Effort to Redefine Commercial Items

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) urges you to support the Department of Defense's (DoD) legislative proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act that will result in improved oversight of billions of dollars' worth of so-called "commercial" goods and services..

POGO Supports Proposed Defense Contractor Crime Reporting Rule

The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks input on a proposal to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to expand coverage on contractor requirements and responsibilities with regard to the reporting of crimes committed by or against contractor personnel. .

POGO's Response to Professional Services Council Letter Regarding Reducing Civilian Workforce

Senators and Representatives recently received a letter from the Professional Services Council (PSC) responding to their letters to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in they criticized the Department of Defense's (DoD) efficiency initiative, which aims to reduce costs by scaling back the civilian workforce to 2010 levels rather than compliance with mandates to reduce reliance upon contractors. We would like to offer some perspective on a number of points raised in the PSC letter..

POGO and Partners Strongly Support Passage of the DATA Act

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing in strong support of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), H.R. 2146, which is planned for a floor vote this Wednesday. The DATA Act is an important step towards improving federal financial transparency and would empower the public to better understand how their federal dollars are being spent. .

A Test Case on Sanctions?

If there's one thing most Americans support in foreign policy, it's sanctions against Iran to halt its alleged drive for nuclear weapons. From President Obama to Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich, leading candidates all want to put the economic squeeze on Tehran and to signal their support for Israel. President Obama recently announced he will ratchet up sanctions on the country's oil exports and declared a "national emergency" to deal with the Islamic Republic. The Senate will try to iron out its differences over anti-Iran measures in coming weeks, as bus stations around Washington, DC, are studded with advertisements questioning the President's resolve on the issue..

U.S. Wasting Billions on Over-Priced Service Contracts; Government Lacks Data to Make Informed Contracting Decisions, POGO Tells Congressional Subcommittee

The federal government more than doubled its spending on service contracts over the last decade, despite having inaccurate data on the "true" cost of those contracts—largely because of the misguided notion that outsourcing is more cost effective than using federal workers, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) told a Senate subcommittee today..

POGO's Scott Amey testimony on "Contractors: How Much Are They Costing the Government?"

I want to thank Chairman McCaskill, Ranking Member Portman, and the Subcommittee for asking the Project On Government Oversight (POGO to submit written testimony about the important, but often ignored, issue of service contracting costs. Although there are many initiatives in place to cut federal agency spending and reduce the costs associated with the federal workforce, the cost of contractor services has escaped scrutiny. Such avoidance is extremely disturbing because the government annually spends more taxpayer dollars on contractor services than it spends on goods, over $320 billion and $210 billion in FY 2011, respectively. To put that level of spending in perspective, total contract spending was $205 billion in FY 2000, of which services accounted for $128 billion of the total..

Last Modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:25:11 PM



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