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Dissecting Submission and Evaluation Criteria of an RFP

Do federal construction Request for Proposals (RFPs) freak you out? You aren’t alone. They are tough to comprehend! They can be awfully confusing with their lingo, FAR Clauses and information broken into multiple sections. But we are here for you! Here is a short but sweet description to help you understand the submission and evaluation sections of a federal RFP.

Not to make things more confusing, but the submission and evaluation section titles/numbering differ based on the federal agency issuing the RFP. They label the sections differently, but they serve the same purpose.

Submission Criteria Sections

The submission criteria for a proposal response can be found in Section L, or Section 00010, or Section 00 21 00 of a federal RFP. This section outlines the proposal organization and submission requirements. Submission information typically includes instruction regarding page count, page layout (margins, fonts, page sizes), submission method and outline/content.

The instructions will specify further detail about organizing the specific proposal response parts, such as:

  • Past Performance

  • Technical

  • Executive Summary

  • Management/Key Personnel

  • Logistics/Administrative

  • Cost or Pricing Data

Evaluation Criteria Sections

The evaluation criteria for a proposal response can be found in Section M, or Section 00 22 00 of RFPs. This section outlines how the proposal will be evaluated, including information like scoring methods, score weighting, as well as overall and per section evaluation process.

The award decision is based on evaluation factors and significant subfactors. Therefore, it’s critical to understand evaluation criteria and what section(s) of the proposal is weighted most heavily, all the way down to least important. Spend the most time adding value to the highly evaluated sections, and simply ensure compliance on things that are evaluated the lowest or result in a pass/fail rating.

Pro Tip

Be sure to write your proposal based on information from the submission and evaluation sections. For example, sometimes the submission section will provide how they want a past performance project example to be outlined, but the evaluation criteria will provide information about specific relevancy the evaluators are looking for or specific information you can provide to receive higher ratings. Tying the two together is the key to providing a compliant, highly evaluated submission.

We understand how hard it can be to wrap your head around all this information and then try to create a proposal response from it. That’s why we do what we do, so you don’t have to. We have so many years of experience dissecting and responding to federal RFPs, you can put us in the senior citizen category. Contact us today to help you comprehend these sections of the RFP and produce a winning proposal! Ready to find the next opportunity to bid? Try our free federal opportunity tracking services!

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