What to expect during the award process

The contract solicitation details how offers will be evaluated during the award process (also referred to as the source selection process). This process may be formal or informal.

We use a formal award process for high-dollar value or complex acquisitions. In general, the formal process includes these stages, but it may differ as needed to allow the government to make the best decision. Informal source selection procedures may not include all of these stages.

  1. Competitive range communications

    In the early stages of the award process, we may communicate with you to help us determine if your proposal falls in the competitive range and to:

    • Address ambiguities in the proposal
    • Obtain information relating to relevant past performance
    • Resolve other concerns
  2. Negotiations

    If we determine your proposal is in the competitive range, we may proceed into negotiations (also referred to as discussions). At this time you may be allowed to revise your proposal and have an opportunity to:

    • Respond to any deficiencies or significant weaknesses
    • Address any adverse past performance information
    • Alter or explain elements of your proposal to enhance its award potential
  3. Award notification

    If your business is awarded the contract, you'll be notified by the contracting officer of the award and provided an official start date. If your business isn't awarded the contract, you'll be notified and provided with information on how to request a debriefing.

Elimination from consideration notification

At any point in the award process, regardless of what exchanges or communications have or have not taken place, we may eliminate your proposal from consideration for award. We'll provide you with a written notice of this decision along with information on how to request a debriefing.

We encourage you to consider participating in a debriefing as it will help you understand why your business was not selected. It’s a powerful opportunity to learn which parts of your marketing and bidding strategy are effective and which need improvement.

Last Reviewed: 2022-07-21