1. Use separate headings to organize the various elements of your IFB/RFP.
  2. Be sure that information included in the different sections of your IFB/RFP is consistent. It is especially important to check special terms and conditions of a particular procurement against your jurisdiction's standard terms and conditions to ensure there are no conflicting provisions.
  3. Make sure that your method for determining the lowest bid will identify only one low bid for each contract.
  4. Make sure that the IFB/RFP for a multi-year contract states that the contractual obligation of the awarding authority in subsequent years is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds.
  5. Use precise terms and unambiguous wording. If the contractor must provide something, use the words "must" or "shall," not the words "should" or "may."
  6. Avoid vague phrases. For example, for a landscaping contract, your bid specifications should state specifics such as "cut grass once weekly" or "cut grass whenever it exceeds 3 inches on average," not "cut grass as necessary."
  7. Do not use overly technical language.
  8. Pay attention to the timing of your contract awards. Issue your IFB/RFP when the potential for competition and lower prices is the greatest, and give vendors sufficient time to prepare bids or proposals.
  9. Provide sufficiently detailed specifications to ensure that you will get what you want at a fair price, while omitting unnecessary details that unduly limit competition.
  10. Play by your own rules when evaluating bids or proposals and when awarding contracts.