Why you want the government to limit competition
- Shifts the odds in your favor: The fewer people who can bid, the better your chances of winning.
- Make sure you don’t get boxed out: If you can’t bid, you can’t win.
- Be part of the solution: You can influence how the government thinks about their problems and the potential solutions… But you must know how.
How the government restricts competition
- Official restrictions on competition: Federal statute allows the government to scope competition to:
- Full and open: Anyone can bid
- Restricted to a community: The government can only allow certain groups to bid (e.g. companies with a certain set-aside, or companies already on a certain contract)
- Restricted to a group: The government can create a by name list of companies that can bid on a contract
- Sole Source: A direct award to a single company (so no competition)
- Backdoor restrictions on competition: The government can restrict competition by requiring that bidders have certain credentials, for example by requiring that the company:
- Be ISO certified
- Have a government certified accounting system
- Have very specific past work experience
Taking advantage of competition restrictions
- Shape: There are numerous formal and informal opportunities to steer the government in ways that help you.
- Your options evolve as you grow: As companies mature, they:
- Spend more time shaping
- Engaging with the government earlier in the acquisitions process
- Have more “tools” to shape