The competitive proposal method which is better known as negotiated procurement is the main substitute to sealed bidding for contract requirements. Distinct to the sealed bidding method, the competitive proposal method authorizes consideration of technical issues other than price. Negotiation of contract price or estimated cost and other contract terms and conditions are also permissible. In the competitive proposal approach revision of proposals is done prior to the final contractor selection and the drawing out of an offer at any time is a possibility. Contractors normally choose the method of procurement that is reasonable and is based on the evidences adjoining the particular situation.
The method of Sealed Bids is usually not appropriate for acquiring legal services. Sealed bidding method can only be used where it is possible to measure the costs of the essential services to license the submission of firm bids. The bidder with the lowest responsive and responsible price-related factors is awarded the contract. Furthermore, it is often vital to study other factors besides price for example, experience, when choosing a legal services contractor. But, sealed bidding never does permits the practice of adopting other factors.
The method of Competitive Proposals is the preferred approach when obtaining professional services as it permits the consideration of the technical quality or other factors along with the price, for securing services projected to cost more. Viable offers are implored, proposals are evaluated, and award is made to the offeror who proposes to bring most advantage along with price and other factors also considered. In the competitive proposals, approach either a cost reimbursement or fixed price type contract may be awarded. This method is largely used when conditions are not suitable for the use of the sealed bids.
The adoption of the correct acquisition methodology largely depends on the ability, risk, and complexity to specifically define the requirement. Different types of acquisitions, differ by various ways that are relative to the importance of cost and price. For example, in procurements where the prerequisite is clearly definable and the risk of contract performance being unsuccessful is minimal the cost or price is a major source selection criterion. Less definitive be the requirement, more expansion work is required. Contrastingly, the greater the performance risk, technical or past performance considerations may play a central role in the source selection. Competitive proposals should be used in acquisitions of the above mentioned type to allow negotiations with the offerors. Supposing, either of the two methods is applied wrongly to an acquisition, then it would turn out be quite harmful to either the contractor or the Government or both. There is nothing wrong with any of the methodology so contractors need to choose these services according to their requirements. If the goods and services are offered being clearly defined then discussions are not necessary and a selection could be based on price and other price-related factors. But, if negotiations may be required about the offerors’ goods or services due to risk or fewer definitive requirements those rules and procedures should be applied that are of the lowest priced technically. In my opinion, the choice of which methodology is most advantageous to the contractor really depends on what the contractor is providing.