Sealed bidding is how the government contracts competitively when its requirements are clear, accurate and complete. An Invitation For Bid (IFB) is the method used for the sealed bid process. Typically, an IFB includes a description of the product or service to be acquired, instructions for preparing a bid, the conditions for purchase, packaging, delivery, shipping and payment, contract clauses to be included and the deadline for submitting bids. Each sealed bid is opened in public at the purchasing office at the time designated in the invitation. All bids are read aloud and recorded. A contract is then awarded by the agency to the low bidder who is determined to be responsive to the government's needs. Government-wide IFBs are available daily for review at www.FedBizOpps.gov. This electronic government service also provides a direct link to the invitation.
Contracting officials search the SBA's Procurement and Marketing Access Network (PRO-Net) to identify qualified small business contractors. Therefore, any small business that wants to sell to the government should be registered on the SBA's PRO-Net.
Information courtesy of the Small Business Administration.