General discussion


Learn about contracts in the classroom

By debate ·
Do you think education is the answer when it comes to winning government contracts? Tell us what you think about taking a course to understand more about the federal contract process, as featured in this week's Government IT e-newsletter. How do youthink taking classes can help you hone your technique?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Take the course

by timwalsh In reply to Learn about contracts in ...

Technique can be honed with experience. However with basic knowledge of what government contracting is all about, you may never know if your technique is way off base or missing a key ingredient.

I have been on both sides of the fence (in the military trying to get conracts in place, and in industry, trying to win government contracts as well as working with non-government contracts). I think I can safely say that any entity trying to win a government contract without any previous experience with governmnet contracting and knowledge of the right buttons to push, is at a severe disadvantage, and is doomed to failure before getting started (unless they are in the enviable position of being the ONLY source for a product or service needed by the governmnet).

Because government contracting is (usually) all about fair competition (regardless of the cost or consequences), there are many (many) rules that must be followed. Any one whe has even glimpsed at the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) or the DoD supplement DFAR (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation)knows what I'm talking about. There are literally several THOUSAND pages of rules and refulations that MUST be followed to be successful.

A good for-instance of government vs. non-government contracting:

How many times in the non-government world will you see a critical contract held-up, or even trashed (canceled), because a losing bidder submits a complaint about the contracting process (very often with very shaky legal concerns)? I have seen this happen numerous times in the government world.

Any individual or organization wishing to break into government contracting can only help themselves by taking advantage of any courses offered (for fee or free) that even begins to explain how to sell to the government.

Collapse -

Take the Course (cont.)

by timwalsh In reply to Take the course

Your only other choice to be successful would be to try and hire a former government contracting officer with many (many) years of experience with the government agency you want to do business with.

Collapse -

PTAC organizations are there to help

by klawhorn In reply to Learn about contracts in ...

The Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)are funded by the Department of Defense to help small business owners understand the process of government contracting. The services of the agencies are free and qualified procurement counselors are there to help find contracting opportunities that fit the unique capability profile of various small businesses.

The PTAC organizations are independant from the SBA/SBDC organizations and the mission and goal of the Centers are to identify business firms that are qualified to sell their goods and/or services to the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and state government programs.

Free services of the PTAC organizations include: daily bid matching services; contract and referral services; understanding federal/state contracting fundmentals; electronic commerce assistance; developing a comprehensive marketing plan; conducting training & marketing workshops; finding prime & subcontracting opportunities; and counseling regarding FAR & DFAR regulations and military specifications.

More information about the PTAC organizations can be found at the following website:

Also if you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your time.

Best Regards,

Kelly Lawhorn, Director
Lawrence Economic Development Corporation
Procurement Outreach center
P.O. Box 488
South Point, Ohio 45680
740-377-4550 - phone
740-377-20** - fax

Related Discussions

Related Forums