How to Submit a FOIA / Public Records Request
For contracting purposes, a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) request or a Public Records Request (PRR) is often used to obtain contract information about a past or current contract, incumbent contractor, or copy of a winning bid or proposal. This helps you price your bid competitively in addition to gaining insight about what evaluation criteria the awarding agency is applying the most emphasis.
In order to successfully submit a request, you will need to know a few things.
- It’s important that you identify the correct government department for your request since there are 1,000’s of different cities, counties, states and federal departments and each one has unique FOIA / PRR policies.
- In general, FOIA requests are Federal and PRR’s are usually non-federal at the local, county, and state levels.
- Before you submit your request, make sure you know where to submit the request, have all the required information ready for the request, and manage the request until a response is generated.
- FOIA’s and PRR usually take a minimum of 7-10 days or more so you want to submit quickly to gather information before the bid due date.
- When submitting Questions to the contracting officer, the Answers can be released publically when the Q/A’s are released.
Reach Out to the Contracting Officer Point of Contact (POC)
- Locate the POC contact’s information
On every contract RFP / Solicitation advertised, there is point of contact information. This could be the Contracting Officer or Contract Administrator which is enclosed in the contracting opportunity.
- Make sure you have the RFP / Solicitation # and RFP Solicitation Name
- Email the POC directly
Can you please provide information about this contracting opportunity, who is the current or past contractor and what are the current rates paid by your agency/ department for [Solicitation # and Solicitation Name].
We would also like to obtain a copy of the previous incumbent’s bid and proposal.
Keep in mind The contracting officer may fulfill your request or defer you to submit a FOIA or PRR.