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For this reason (among others), I like to tell contractors not to include any information that is not part of their actual proposal. I don't care about your cover letters, your business-development history, how awesome you are, or how fancy your colored charts are.

In addition to wasting the Government's time, contractors are hurting themselves because they take up 10-20 pages of the page limit of their proposal. If it's not directly pertinent to meeting the terms of the RFP, don't include it.

They hardly ever listen though.

so, I've seen those extravagant proposals from both sides.

For PAE, I was the technical lead writer on a proposal that won a $ 57 M Base Ops contract in the early 1990's.

In the early 2000's, I was the BUDS (Small Biz Specialist) reviewing SB aspects of proposals for the largest Kt in the Dept of the Interior, $ 300+ M over 5 years.



Your Offerors believe that the "how awesome we are" stuff is what ultimately decides who gets the contract.

You say you don't believe it, and I believe you.

But I think yer wrong.


ps: based on my anecdotal experience,

I think it is rare for a government requiring activity or contracting official to do adequate market research.

even when you guys issue an RFI,

you minds are already made up,

and you don't want to hear about better ways of doing what you've been doing the same way for years.

stubborn denial that you aren't as "expert" in your area of expertise as you tell your peers ?

been burnt by taking risks in the past ?

who knows. who cares.

Contractors will put whatever they can into a proposal to show that they are the best value.

the line about "wasting the government's time" is a classic.

is it to save the government's precious time that you guys don't do proper market research,

except to ask your preferred incumbent what they think ?


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My classic example is from a Design-Build competition to rebuild Homestead AFB, FL after Hurricane Andrew devastated it in 1992.

A large Brazilian construction contractor submitted a flashy proposal with an artist's rendering of two fighter jets taking off vertically from the new Homestead airfield. While I was discussing the proposal with my my KO one morning in his office, he happened to take a look at the cover and fired it right out through his office doorway.

It was two MIG29s taking off from a USAF Air Base that had traditionally defended the Southern US from...MIGs!!!!!!!!! To confirm - he didn't award the contract to that firm...

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