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Blog | 04.02.21
By Kyle WilliamsKyle Williams

Complying with Government Contracting Rules Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

As a Holland & Knight attorney has duly noted: “Government contracting is not for the faint of heart.” We’ve heard stories of Periscope Supplier to Government (S2G) customers that used to spend hours driving to state and local government agencies to pick up hard copies of blueprints and specifications for utility and infrastructure solicitations. They would then wait hours in line at the requesting agency’s procurement department to physically hand over their bid responses – and sometimes they would have to wait until someone could verify that the bids were indeed complete and received on time. This happened every single time they wanted to compete for a contract.

Though the process by which vendors engage government agencies to uncover new bid solicitations and submit proposals has drastically changed in today’s online-powered world, so have the “rules of engagement.” In fact, one of the most challenging requirements of government contracting is indeed the “requirements” themselves.

There are rules, regulations, acts, and statutory requirements. Then there are Executive Orders and protests. And though many public sector organizations rely on the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as their procurement guide, nearly every federal, state, and local agency will issue its own guidance on vendor qualifications, performance expectations, invoicing and payments, and contract terms.

In other words, compliance with government contracting rules could be a job of its own. That doesn’t mean it has to be a painful job. There are a lot of resources available to suppliers to help you stay on track:

  • The Small Business Association (SBA) is a great place to start for entrepreneurs or, well, small businesses. They have an entire section dedicated to government contracting tips and updates.
  • Lawyers, especially those specializing in government or labor law, will ensure you comply with the latest updates to labor standards and bid protest guidelines. They can also provide counsel as needed on how you should handle any violations or discrepancies, and represent you if claims regarding implied certifications, for example, are brought against you by the customer.
  • Procurement team members and the agency end user can give you an official debrief on current requirements and source selection procedures. When having these conversations, you’ll also build relationships that could payoff exponentially. For example, you’ll be able to get the scoop on the scope of solicitations planned for the next month or quarter at each agency. You’ll also build name recognition with buyers, which can help when they start calling around to conduct market research and solicit Requests for Quotes (RFQ). Plus, the customer is the one most likely to be “in the know” about how various components of government policies and legislation will impact government contractors or how prime contractor and subcontractor disputes are handled per the FAR or state and local procurement regulations. They can also explain the specific requirements of a prime contract, advise you on how funding crises, such as budget freezes, will impact your contract if and when they occur, and keep you apprised of the latest cybersecurity regulatory requirements for each RFP or bid solicitation. Therefore, it’s critical that you monitor government agency websites, attend government procurement events and vendor fairs, or – as always – just pick up the phone and talk to procurement officials at the agencies you’re targeting for new or continued business.

Of course, our public sector procurement professionals here at Periscope S2G are always available to answer your questions and point you in the right direction if they don’t have the answer. Make sure to bookmark our Resource Center page and check it at least once a week for updates on government contracting news, bid opportunities, and public sector buying trends.

Key Takeaway

Just as a sole source contract can limit the government’s ability to achieve its price, quality, and performance goals, choosing to rely on a single source of information regarding supplier compliance requirements or contract obligations can be detrimental to your performance record and, thus, hurt your public sector revenue potential in the future. You really need a team of experts at your disposal to keep you abreast of annual changes to the “rules of engagement” in government contracting since those changes can occur at any time across a number of different agency authorities.   

Kyle Williams

About the Author

Kyle Williams

Executive Vice President, Supplier Operations

As Executive Vice President of Supplier Operations, Kyle is responsible for overseeing all supplier facing aspects of the business including customer on-boarding, sales growth, revenue growth, customer retention and innovation within our suite of supplier products and services. Kyle also serves as the executive site leader for the American Fork, UT office, driving transformational change and collaboration to align with Periscope’s core values. Kyle has been with Periscope since 2018 and brings over 12 years of valuable leadership experience in building and growing high performing teams for both inside sales and SaaS based software organizations. Kyle is continually focused on implementing scalable processes that maximize efficiency and has created a culture that models integrity, is team centric, passionate and accountable. Prior to joining Periscope in 2018, Kyle served for 4 years as Sr. Sales Manager for AvidXchange, a hyper growth company providing best of breed AP automation solutions. Prior to that, Kyle served as Sr. Sales Manager at SettlementOne, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of mortgage data for financial institutions and consumers. Kyle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and his multi subject teaching credential in Liberal Studies from Notre Dame de Namur University.