The U.S. Army Contracting Policy
The United States Government uses contractors to take care of most of its high dollar requirements and purchases. The governments' thoughts are that this process is actually saving money for them. At times this is true, but many times it is not. Many times the process of finding and investigating contractors turns out to be more expensive than if the government still had their own employees doing this work.
One of the requirements when choosing contractors is that there has to be more than one bidder. The one of the reasons for this is so that the Army does not appear to favor one company, spread the wealth. The process for this is a long one. Contractors must submit bids and contracts stating the actual cost at which the project can be accomplished. Before this happens though the government has to notify contractors that the need for a contract is there.
The Department of Defense or other government agencies have to send requests for assistance to the U.S. Army Research Office. Each request consists of a short Statement of Work prepared to a fixed format, a cost estimate, a legal review and a funding authorization. Upon acceptance by the Army Research Office, the Statement of Work and a Request for Proposal is sent to the Scientific Services Program office. The sponsoring government agency can recommend a contractor to do the job, but most of the contractors are selected by their demonstration of superior qualifications and cost effectiveness. Where a task requires the services of an organization, proposals are solicited from a limited number of qualified sources identified by a database search. A technical and cost proposal is negotiated and submitted to the Army Research Office. Upon approval, the Army Research Office awards a delivery order...