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OFPP Continuing To Dispel Myths On Industry-Vendor Communication; Lesley Field Comments

Site: NSF.gov

Agencies and service vendors are falling victim to multiple myths within the government contracting acquisition process, according to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

OFPP previously issued a memo in February 2011 to dispel certain myths associated with federal procurement and communication, Federal News Radio reports.

On Monday, OFPP issued a second memo including eight additional areas of mythology.

Acting OFPP Administrator Lesley Field said the memo is part of an effort to encourage better communication among government and industry.

The memo notes that vendors frequently believe they do not have influence over potential solicitations in the pre-request for proposal phase.

Joanie Newhart, OFPP’s associate administrator for acquisition workforce programs, said this is untrue since agencies want to engage industry in order to shape acquisition strategy and outcome.

OFPP said vendors are able to comment or suggest changes on contract requirements as long as it is not a conflict of interest.

The memo said vendors should suggest detailed solutions to concerns in addition, so to promote a full exchange of information in the early contract stages.

Through industry days, agencies provide vendors a way to understand contract requirements at these events to more effectively meet mission goals and respond to solicitations, OFPP said.

Vendors are also under the misconception that proposals should not be customized if the solicitations are fairly similar.

OFPP said vendors should write each response to a RFP in a tailor-made way to ensure their solutions meet all necessary criteria.

Contracting officers frequently disclose pricing information for similar goods and services to other agencies, negating a misconception OFPP lists that vendors believe agencies are obligated to not share this information.

Sharing pricing information allows agencies to ensure they are best spending taxpayer dollars but notes there are cases when agencies are restricted from sharing information with other agencies, the memo said.

In addition, OFPP suggests vendors bring technical experts with them when meeting with agencies to ensure best sharing of information and to reach out for a debriefing if a solicitation response does not yield a contract win.

Field said the memo is targeted primarily toward businesses new to working with the government and those firms can use the new FedBizOpps small business collaboration tools.

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