Government proposals, or government contract proposals, in the business sense are contracts that government entities create in order to buy things from and do business with the private sector. The are written in direct response to a government entity that has made a request to buy something.
Government proposal writing has been done in this way since the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act of 1974 was signed into law. Under that statute the Federal Acquisition Regulation standards were set and govern the “acquisition process” of executive agencies in the United States want to undergo federal contracting. There are technically three phases of this process: need recognition and acquisition planning, contract formation, and contract administration.
In addition to those three stages, here are three aspects all good government proposals will contain.
- Why Should the Government Buy? One of the first questions government proposals answer is why the agency needs whatever it is they want, and why they believe the identified company/business is the best place to get it from. Government agencies should have a compelling reason to need something and this process attempts to prevent frivolous spending as well as “hooking up a friend” who happens to work for a company an agency wants to buy things from.
- Cost/Benefit Analysis: Government proposals will go through every step to try and determine if the vendor meets all the requirements, how much it will ultimately cost, and whether or not there’s a better option. For this stage many people are now turning to proposal pricing software to help them with the data and statistics.
- Very Long: Whether thy’re written by hand or with the help of proposal software, most of the time these government proposals are going to be rather lengthy. That’s because they must answer every individual aspect and requirement, and when it comes to competitive proposals, they need to show why one vendor is preferable to another.
Whether you’re just interested in the political realm or not, learning the ins and outs of government proposal writing can be a beneficial quality that can help you down the road if you find yourself in at a private company doing business with the government.