Basic Terms in Government Contracting

Award - the notification to a bidder or tenderer of acceptance of a bid or tender which brings a contract into existence

Bid - a tender, proposal or quotation submitted in response to a solicitation from a contracting authority

Bidders' Conference - a meeting to discuss with potential bidders, technical, operational and performance specifications, and/or the full extend of financial, security and other contractual obligations related to a bid solicitation

Closing Date - the deadline for all bid submissions

Competitive Bidding - offers submitted by individuals or firms competing for a contract, privilege or right to supply specified services or merchandise

Contract - obligation between competent parties up a legal consideration, to do or abstain from doing some act

Contract Amendment - an agreed addition to, deletion from, correction or modification of a contract

Contractor - one who contracts to perform work or furnish materials in accordance with a contract

Estimated Value - indicates the approximate value of the contract

Procurement - the process of obtaining material and services which includes the determination of requirements and acquisition from a supply system or by purchase from the trade

Proposal - an offer, submitted in response to a request from a contracting authority, that constitutes a solution to the problem, requirement or objective in the request

Invitation for Bid (IFB)an IFB is also referred to as a “sealed bid”.  It is usually for requirements over $25,000, utilized to provide goods, services and construction for public use. It is competitive and the lowest bid will win

Request for Proposal (RFP) - a Request for Proposal, while generally used for requirements of $25,000 or more, is often employed for requirements where the selection of a supplier cannot be made solely on the basis of the lowest price.  An RFP is used to procure the most cost-effective solution based upon evaluation criteria identified in the RFP

Request for Quotation (RFQ) - an RFQ is normally sent out when a requisition is received for goods and services valued at less than $25,000. The bid documents are kept simple so that the contract can be awarded quickly