DOD checklist provides guide to error-free bid proposals

military businessman

The DOD is trying to reduce the number of errors and omissions on bids from companies by providing a checklist highlighting common shortcomings. (Stock image)

With a new checklist, Defense Department officials are putting the onus on companies to fill out bid proposals thoroughly and accurately. They expect the new list will help the department avoid the hassle and cost of sending proposals back because of errors and incomplete forms.

The objective of the "adequacy checklist" is ensuring that bidders submit polished proposals.

"This provision results from a long history of incomplete proposals resulting in rework and lost time, and it aims to achieve cost savings by improving initial proposal submissions from contractors," officials wrote in a Federal Register notice published March 28. The amendment to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) took effect the same day. (Read the final rule.)

The checklist is for defense contractors to complete as they respond to solicitations that require certified cost or pricing data. It's 36 items cover a range of issues, such as whether the title page complies with regulations and whether they have identified potential excessive pass-through charges, for example. The checklist asks questions about cost estimates, exceptions to pricing data, and direct and indirect costs in the proposal.

In part, officials want to increase uniformity across DOD, minimize local variations on rules, and thereby decrease proposal preparation costs. The rule was first proposed in December 2, 2011. Officials say the rule aligns with the Defense Department’s Better Buying Power initiative’s goal of reducing costs.

Officials consider the new rule a time- and money-saver too.

"This provision should result in cost savings by improving initial proposal submissions from offerors and reduce the amount of rework and resubmissions," officials wrote in their notice.

The checklist created by this rule is a DFARS provision. Any checklist that the Defense Contract Audit Agency currently uses is outside the scope of the rule.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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