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How Do I Learn about Government Contracts for Bid?

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  • Written By: Terry Masters
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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Notice of available government contracts for bid are typically announced as a request for proposals (RFP) or a request for qualifications (RFQ). These are often available in official government publications, general circulation newspapers, or on government websites. Many jurisdictions maintain a multi-agency database of contracts for bid that can be accessed over the Internet and searched for appropriate opportunities.

The way an agency in a particular jurisdiction posts notices of government contracts for bid is typically standardized by law. This means that the law will require all government agencies at a certain level to post notices in at least one way that is easily accessible to the public. For example, all agencies with contract opportunities over a certain amount of money might be required by law to publish notices in the government newspaper or official record, or utilize some other standard method for public notification that is the same for all agencies. An agency can also choose to announce the opportunity in other ways, such as on a website, but the basic notification required by law must be completed.

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Outside contracting is an important part of governmental administration, so it is not often difficult to find out its procedure for posting bid notices. There is usually a government agency that deals with small businesses and provides all of the information to navigate the government contracting process from start to finish. Alternatively, a trip to the main branch of the public library will likely net a series of books that compile information on government contracting at various jurisdictional levels.

The easiest way to learn about government contracts for bid is to identify government agencies that deal in a related field and to monitor their websites. Agencies typically maintain a contracting section on their websites that details open opportunities and provides the RFP or RFQ for download. Most importantly, agencies often allow individuals and businesses to sign up on an electronic mailing list that will send out notices by email and by regular mail when opportunities for bidding arise that meet a certain criteria. This way, no bid opportunity need ever be missed.

Identifying government contracts for bid has also generated a cottage industry. Third party vendors hold workshops and seminars to help people learn about the contracting process. Many also publish their own periodic compendiums of open bids that make it particularly easy to keep up with multiple agencies without having to do original research. Governments at certain levels, such as the federal government in the U.S., also maintain a multi-agency web portal that makes searching for contracting opportunities a one-stop shop.

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mobilian33
Post 3

I think government contract bids should be open to everyone. I don't like the practice of setting aside certain jobs for a certain group of business owners. Here in the United States, we are taught that we are supposed to compete on a level playing field, and that's how it should be.

I don't want special consideration because I am a women, but I don't want anyone else to have special considerations either for whatever the reason might be.

Laotionne
Post 2

Many government agencies are required to target minority small businesses when they are putting up projects for bid. So if you are a minority you should definitely look into these types of government projects. There should be fewer bids for these projects and that will give you a better chance of winning the bid and getting the project.

Drentel
Post 1

Years ago when I started my business, the Internet was not what it is today, and finding government jobs available to bid on was more difficult. At the time, I didn't know a thing about government bids until a cousin told me about them.

This article mentions that the library is another place to go to find out about bids. When I was starting out it was the only place I knew to go. As I said, the Internet didn't have as much information back then. You could find some information in the local newspaper, but that could be hit and miss.

Without government jobs that were made available to small businesses in particular, I wouldn't have been able to compete with larger more established companies.

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