Shaping & Limiting competition

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