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The lifecycle of a government bid

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Government operations often seem to have a life of their own. The bidding and procurement process is certainly no exception. With the Federal government alone approving a bid every 20 seconds of every business day, the number of bids is staggering.

Every one of these thousands of government opportunities is an important element in the lifecycle of a bid. Bids are born from a public need, defined by agency representatives, shared with the public and vendors, assigned, approved, and tracked. And, as with the most complex lifecycles, understanding the basic components is key to understanding the process as a whole.

Types of opportunities

Government opportunities are categorized into three main types of bids according to where they situate themselves in time: awards (past), open bids (current), and advance (future).


These include all publicly available information about awards granted over the last 12 months. At, our expert research staff supplements this data with information from past award announcements, winning tabulations of bidders, and other sources.

Additional sources of information include targeted research from websites, publications, reports, meeting minutes, and others. This information is then amalgamated to provide you with competitive insights on market trends, current public needs and spending.

Open Bids

Open bids include all government opportunities currently open for proposal. These are the opportunities offered by governments, agencies, and buyers that specify a needed product or service. They include details or contact information, and seek vendors who will submit details and pricing to meet that need.

Since most government procurement is done through competitive bidding, bids are generally viewed as the key to doing business with the government. Bid opportunities allow your business to grow by selling to federal, state or local government agencies. researches thousands of bid opportunities from websites, publications, reports, and other sources every day. We also retrieve open bids, sort and classify them, and match them to your business interests, thereby saving your business significant time and money.


Advance information includes information gathered by our research staff about upcoming opportunities, including opportunities not yet publicly available. To find these,’s expert researchers review minutes from public meetings, monitor purchasing patterns, public referendums, and other sources.

Having access to this information provides you with more lead time for preparation, as well as the possibility to play a role in ‘crafting’ bids or RFP documents suited to your products and services.

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Popular terms (Glossary)

Contract Award: Occurs when the contracting officer has signed and distributed the contract to, or notified the contractor.

Commerce Business Daily: A Department of Commerce publication used by federal agencies to publish a summary or synopsis of their upcoming procurements to notify interested businesses. Now largely replaced by the Fedbizopps internet site.

RFP - Request for Proposal: A process where an agency or government can seek a specific proposal from vendors. Follows a specifications process and formalized set of standards and procedures. Generally seeks less vendor input than an RFI but more than an RFQ.

Glossary:Index (all)


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