How to Find Award Amounts for Government Contract Bids

Determine how to improve bid prices by reviewing award amounts.
Determine how to improve bid prices by reviewing award amounts. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The award amount of the current government contract for an item or service establishes a ballpark range to use when pricing a bid as a competitor. The dollar value of the successful bid also tells you how much more you need to cut from your price to win the next round of competition. In 2009, the Obama administration cleared the way for release of more government documentation on awards. Unless release of data will harm the government in some manner, agencies will give out award information. How you find the award amount hinges on the dollar value of the project and your involvement as a bidder.

Things You'll Need

  • Solicitation number
  • Project name
  • Contracting officer's name, e-mail address and phone number

Ask the government representative for award information if you submitted a bid. Submit a request to the project’s contracting officer if an unsuccessful bidder’s letter was not received. Include the solicitation number, the project title, bid due date and awarded contract number (if known) in your request. Define whether you want the total dollar award amount or the breakdown of all bid schedule items.

Search the Federal Business Opportunities website for award announcements. Choose “Award Notice” under the search section for “Type” and enter a keyword or the solicitation number without the dashes. If your search produces no results, remove your entries and choose the state of contract performance or the name of the agency that issued the solicitation.

Search the U.S. Department of Defense database for award information on contracts exceeding $5 million. Use the awarded contract number including all dashes as the keyword. If the number is unknown, view all reported awards by the agency by using the first six digits of the solicitation number as the keyword.

Submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Ask the contracting officer for the name of the information office responsible for processing FOIA requests for the award. Identify the contract number and the information you are requesting in your written request. Also specify the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the information.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you only receive the total award amount, you can request the unit price breakdown. Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 15.503(b) authorizes the unit price release upon request.

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