The acquisition life cycle begins when an agency or organization discovers a need that cannot be fulfilled internally or through other government agencies. The need starts a three-phase cycle that broadly describes any type of purchasing activity.
Acquisition Planning and Pre-Award: During this first phase, the program organization works with the Contracting Officer to identify the requirements for the purchase and to determine the most effective way to acquire the needed product or service. The Contracting Officer conducts market research to gain an understanding of the requirement itself, plus the costs and time commitment needed to fulfill the requirement and to identify suitable vendors.
Once the requirements are clearly defined, the Contracting Officer issues a RFQ for the order. Contractors propose solutions and identify price, terms, and conditions. Quotes are reviewed, discussions occur, and the organization awards the order to the contractor offering the solution with the best value.
Task/Delivery Order Administration: During this second phase, the contractor fulfills the obligations of the order. The Contracting Officer monitors the progress against the order and pays the vendor for the supplies or services provided and accepted by the government.
Closeout Administration: Once the supplies or services have been provided, the final stage is to close out the order. The process includes confirming final acceptance, closing out the order, making final payments, and reporting on the vendor’s performance. The assessment of contractor performance is critical to ensuring that future government