- Use separate headings to organize the various elements of your IFB/RFP.
- 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.
- Make sure that your method for determining the lowest bid will identify only one low bid for each contract.
- 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.
- Use precise terms and unambiguous wording. If the contractor must provide something, use the words "must" or "shall," not the words "should" or "may."
- 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."
- Do not use overly technical language.
- 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.
- 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.
- Play by your own rules when evaluating bids or proposals and when awarding contracts.
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