Request for Proposal: Learn to Read an RFP

This article identifies the structure of a request for proposal. The attached video walks through each section and explain its importance. An actual RFP is used as an example to identify each section.

Knowledge is Experience

What is a request for proposal?

A request for proposal (RFP) is a solicitation, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

What are the parts of an RFP?

  • State of Work
  • Technical Specifications
  • Schedule
  • List of Deliverables
  • Contract Terms and Conditions
  • Format of Proposal
  • Qualification and Experience
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Evaluation Criteria

The video is available here:

Request for Proposals – Lobbyist Services

Government Contracts Your Lobbying Firm Can Win


Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona is accepting sealed proposals to select qualified companies/firms that will assist MCCCD to advance its state agenda by achieving measurable outcomes related to statutory language, policy development, fiscal considerations and other state support.

Link to RFP


South Coast Air Quality Management District, California is seeking Legislative Representation in Washington, D.C. 

Link to RFP


Saint Lucie County, Florida is seeking RFPs for Lobbyist Services.  

Link to RFP


Chatham Area Transit Authority is seeking proposals for Legislative Advocacy Services.


Cincinnati, Ohio is requesting qualifications for State Lobbyist Services.

Plus more contracts you can win today at GovDirections!

Getting to Know the Government Request for Proposal (RFP)

The government Request for Proposal, or RFP, is a process for bidding on government projects. Once an RFP is released by a government agency, bidders can submit a proposal and attempt to win the work contract. The RFP government bids process is a very specific proposal application that is highly regulated.

What Is a Government Request for Proposal?

When a government bid becomes available, a government request for proposals, or RFP is written. Interested businesses can submit proposals, which include detailed information on the work to be performed, in order to win a government contract.


The government RFP is usually a lengthy document, with many sections that detail what is expected of all parties in a federal contract. The RFP occurs as part of the federal bidding process, and many firms and businesses respond to the request with offers of how their group is best qualified to perform the project.

What You Need to Know About RFP Government Contracts

A request for proposal is a very specific US government work order. A federal government RFP is broken down into thirteen sections, each one regulated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, or FAR. The following are basic descriptions of each of the thirteen sections described by the FAR.

• Section A includes important information, usually in one page, to bidders.
• Section B is the section which includes all pricing information for businesses and firms.
• Section C is the most important section. This is the statement of work, and it informs the bidder of the exact work that is expected.
• Section D defines the method of deliverables.
• Section E provides more information about submitting deliverables, and what will occur if those criteria are not met.
• Section F is a description of how the work is to be performed.
• Section G is the section that describes communication between the government agency and the firm.
• Section H is where any specific contract agreements are made. Any special issues or concerns will be listed here.
• Section I lists clauses to be placed into the government contract.
• Section J is a list of attachments for the RFP.
• Section K describes any certifications or titles necessary to secure the government bid.
• Section L provides guidance on how to prepare a government RFP response. This is where businesses and firms should look to write their response proposal.
• Section M provides the evaluation criteria that describe how the proposal will be graded.

The general goal of a government RFP is to inform companies of the expectations and requirements of the government bidding process. The request for proposal is a good faith effort to alert a wide range of businesses. The government RFP is a strictly regulated procedure, and is an important part of the government bidding process.


The Government RFP Process

Understanding the government RFP process is an important step to ensure you produce your best proposal to receive your government bid. The process begins when the RFP is released. Interested businesses and firms respond to the RFP, and the agency will choose which bid is the most qualified and economical to carry out the scope of work. There are many types of information which may be requested by the agency, including qualifications of workers, budget, and a projected timeline.


Writing Your RFP

There are a lot of options available on the internet to help in writing your US government RFP. If you are stumped on where to start, a quick search for a government RFP template will yield dozens of resources to help you plan your proposal document. Remember to use the template along with the posted government RFP to ensure you are following any specific instructions.

Many firms choose the option of a writing service to write their government RFP. These companies are experts in writing RFP documents, and will charge a fee in return for writing services.


The RFP Response

When a business or firm responds to a federal RFP, there are specific guidelines which must be followed. Interested bidders should refer to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirements to write their proposal. There are several options available to those who are ready to respond to a government RFP. These resources, such as RFP listings and government RFP database systems, will be discussed later.

The response to an RFP is the method for interested bidders to apply for government contracts. To secure a bid for government projects, a well-written, logical response to the RFP must be submitted. The Request for Proposal will often describe specific guidelines to follow, along with the Federal Acquisition Requirements.


Government RFP Database Systems

Don’t know where to start to find a US Government RFP? Businesses and firms who are looking for government projects can use database resources to view information on all types of government projects. There are many RFP database services that can be searched by region, or project type. If you want to find federal RFP listings, a government RFP database system should be the first place you search.

Federal Government RFP

The US federal government releases an RFP in a good faith effort to reach as wide an audience as possible through a fair and transparent process. All interested groups can then compete with a submitted proposal in an attempt to win a government bid.

The federal RFP will specify the costs and expectations for bidders in the federal contracting process. There are specific requirements and fulfillments which firms must meet in order to secure a government bid. Refer to the FAR regulations for more information.

Government RFP Listings

Businesses and firms can search through regional government RFP listings. The best way to do this is to search for listings with your area as a key word. Bidding for local projects will save your firm valuable time and travel resources, which would otherwise inflate your bid.

Responding to a federal request for proposals may seem like a confusing and daunting process. A little bit of preparation and a good template can make the process easier. As with any government bidding process, the more you know, the easier it becomes!

Request for Proposals Classification and Compensation

The local government human resource consulting market continues to rapidly grow after nearly a decade of minimal compensation adjustments. The Census Bureau reports that local government workers comprise the majority of the state and local government workforces with more than 10.5 million of the 13.8 million employees.

The following local governments are currently requesting proposals to review their classification compensation systems:

For more information on any of these projects please contact Pete at (800) 492-8523.