As a government services contractor, you are in a unique position. Once you’ve been awarded a government contract, you have many regulations to juggle, deadlines to meet, and budget restrictions to adhere to.
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Bidding on a government services contract is not the same as bidding on a construction project in the private sector. One of the key differences between a private contract and a government contract is in who is paying for the project. Shareholders, individuals, or commercial entities are responsible for financing private construction projects. Government projects, however, are funded by taxpayers. Since the taxpayers themselves don’t have control over how their money is spent, many rules and regulations are in place to ensure that these funds are used properly.
If you’re interested in bidding on a government contract, it’s important that you understand the laws in place regarding the project. Before you can place a bid on any type of state or local government project, you must get the proper bonding and prequalification from that jurisdiction. Each area has its own unique requirements, so you’ll need to investigate the regulations specific to the area where you live. If you’re bidding on a federal contract, you’ll need to comply with the requirements set forth by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
Government contracts typically go only to companies with a strong balance sheet. While contracts invariably go to the lowest bidder, bids aren’t considered at all if the company isn’t deemed responsible and reliable.
Signed into law in March 2018, the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides $500 billion in federal spending over the next two years for domestic and defense programs. Over $21 billion of this fund is earmarked for infrastructure projects such as water, energy, and transportation facilities. Projects in these areas have already been prevalent, but this funding will ensure that there’s no shortage of government work in coming years.
Bids for water treatment projects increased 12 percent in the last two years, as aging pipes and contaminated water have created a growing need for fresh, clean solutions. If you have the equipment and subcontractors on hand to help you address plumbing issues, you’ll be well-placed to bid on many of the new opportunities that are expected to appear in this area.
Disaster service contracts are on the rise as well. These increased 14 percent in 2016 alone. These types of projects include assessment of damages, disaster cleanup, disaster recovery, and disaster preparation. If you have a specialty in one of these areas, the coming years may be very lucrative for your company.
Many governments are putting a greater emphasis on green building projects. If you’re knowledgeable about the more efficient and affordable ways to make buildings eco-friendly, this could help you become more competitive for government contracts.
Through 2023, spending on smart lighting is expected to increase 22 percent annually across both municipal and residential projects. RFPs and bids in this area increased 15 percent in 2016. If you don’t have an electrician on staff already, you may want to consider connecting with this type of subcontractor. With the right boom lift rentals, you can add lighting work to the scope of your projects to land more government contracts.
There are many different types of government services projects that contractors may encounter. Some examples of government services and public works projects include:
Government projects also fall within various subtypes. These determine the type of contract the government will execute. These options are:
Government services contracts always go to the lowest bidder who is considered responsive and responsible. In most cases, bids are reviewed first on the basis of the technical or management proposal. At this stage, reviewers determine whether the proposed construction is technically viable. It’s important that you provide a detailed bid, outlining every aspect of the project. The information in your proposal should be thoughtful, thorough, and very convincing so there’s no question as to whether or not your construction methods and approach will work.
Bids that are deemed viable pass to the second stage of review, where the price proposal is considered. While you want to bid lower than the competition, you should also make sure that your bid includes all the appropriate costs and considerations. You shouldn’t bid so low that you can’t make a profit on the project. Carefully consider all associated expenses, including construction equipment needs, labor, and supplies.
Succeeding in government services jobs is critical if you want to stay competitive and land more of these contracts in the future. When you’re working on a government services contract, make sure you pay close attention to the following:
Whether you’re already equipped for the job or renting equipment to help you complete the project, a government services contract can put you in a great position for financial success and a boost to your reputation.