Using Color Reviews for Government Cost Proposals


Article Submitted by OST Global Solutions

Cost proposals are often times the deciding factor in determining the winner – “It all comes down to price.” So why are cost volumes typically finished at the end of the proposal process and treated as an afterthought?

Click this link to watch the accompanying video:

Many companies treat cost proposals as an administrative task that requires no creativity. They figure out what they need to price, assemble the spreadsheet, and then cut and paste some language from other proposals to “justify” the numbers.

But this is a flawed way of thinking. Cost proposals present a great opportunity to convince the government that yours is the only realistic and reasonable pricing. There’s a lot of nuance when it comes to realism vs. reasonableness price evaluations that the Government performs, but we’re talking generalities here.

Cost proposals need to have win themes and ghost your competition by describing how you derive your rates. For example, is this a difficult market in which to find qualified job candidates? Are you paying people for specific and unusual skills that the government requires for this job? Do not assume that the person evaluating your proposal knows the ins and outs of the program. Spell it all out.

For cost volumes, there are many different creative ways to explaining different concepts to your government customer. But to succeed, you need more than one green team that’s happening towards the end of the whole proposal lifecycle. You must treat your cost like the technical volumes that follow the same lifecycle as your technical proposal.

OST likes to have a cost proposal pink team, a cost proposal red team, and a cost proposal gold team. Read aloud reviews can make sure the whole proposal to make sure it’s perfect. Cost people will notice your errors because they pay attention to detail.

My challenge to you: during your next proposal, think of your cost volume as a key piece of the proposal that you track and review thoroughly from the beginning of the process. Don’t put it off till the very end.

OST Global Solutions is a professional business development consulting firm and frequent guest instructor providing subject matter expertise to Virginia PTAC clients through interactive presentations. Please visit the Virginia PTAC training calendar to find the next free training seminar on developing cost proposals by using these tips to find the training you need:

Virginia PTAC clients may also reach out directly to their Procurement Counselor for guidance. Not a client? Check to see if you are eligible to signup:

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MBDA Needs Public Comments – Rural Business Center Program


The deadline for filing comments is January 25, 2022.

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency is seeking public
comment on the establishment of a Rural Business Center Program by January 25, 2022 at 5 pm (ET). Comments may be used to help MBDA decide policy related to the areas of focus,
geographical location and distribution, and additional areas of service for the rural business
center program. Read more detail here on the Federal Register:

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Virginia PTAC seeking new counselor


We’re hiring!

If you know someone knowledgeable about Federal or State procurement who is may be interested in seeking a 32 hr per week (with benefits) employment as a Procurement Counselor at George Mason University, please share this job announcement:

Part Time Procurement Counselor serving Central Virginia based in our Fredericksburg office at UMW:

Responsibilities include:

Government Contracting Counseling

  • Ensure PTAC client’s SAM and Dynamic Small Business Search are thoroughly filled out to provide the best snapshot of the firms’ competencies;
  • Determine eligibility of firm’s ability to achieve socioeconomic certifications for HUBZone, 8(a) and WOSB/EDWOSB, Mentor Protégé and SDVOSB verification;
  • Advise PTAC clients about the advantages and disadvantages associated with teaming arrangements and the various regulations governing subcontracting and joint ventures;
  • Provide PTAC clients information about the government’s competition policies, contract types, procurement methods, and source selection processes;
  • Perform assessments of PTAC clients’ draft responses to government solicitations and provide recommendations to improve their chances of winning more government contracts and subcontracts;
  • Provide PTAC clients information about government procurement policies, rules, regulations and processes;
  • Provide PTAC clients recommended courses of action to resolve government solicitation, prime contract, subcontract, contract management, and/or performance issues; and
  • Maintain current, accurate and complete electronic records for all counseling sessions and administrative actions in support of the PTAC mission.

Business Training

  • Assist with the development of government contracting presentations, workshops and outreach events; and
  • Lead government contracting workshops and provide formal presentations to small businesses and external constituents within the PTAC’s service area.


  • Establish and maintain relationships with government buyers and partners (incl. universities, economic development organizations, major prime contractors, State Procurement professionals, legislators, chambers of commerce, and other business groups).

Success Stories

  • Identify/write minimum of 1 success story per quarter drawing from counseling client’s contract awards or other achievements eligible as an official DLA reportable success story. Confirm content with Statewide Director, submit to client for their approval and signature on company letterhead per DLA requirements.

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Notice to all WOSB/EDWOSB firms with annual attestation due: Temporary Suspension of Annual Update Requirement


To remain eligible as an EDWOSB or WOSB, program participants must submit an annual attestation to SBA each year, per 13 CFR Part 127.400. Currently, SBA is experiencing technical difficulties with the annual attestation process.

As an interim solution and to mitigate negative impact to firms, SBA is suspending annual attestation until 1 Mar 2022. SBA will notify firms when the issue has been resolved to allow participants to complete their annual attestation.

As a reminder, 13 CFR Part 127.401 states, “Once certified, a WOSB or EDWOSB must notify SBA of any material changes that could affect its eligibility within 30 calendar days of any such change. Material change includes, but is not limited to, a change in the ownership, business structure, or management.”

Currently, reporting material changes is fully available under and instructions are available within the beta.Certify Knowledgebase.

A participant’s failure to notify SBA of a material change may result in decertification and removal from SAM and DSBS (or any successor system) as a designated certified WOSB/EDWOSB concern. In addition, SBA may seek the imposition of penalties under §127.700.

Lastly, once we respond to a help ticket and move it to a closed status, we are unable to directly view any updated responses. If there is any follow-up question or concern, please create a new ticket and if needed please include the previous ticket’s Case Number for reference.

Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program Office of Government Contracting & Business Development 
U.S. Small Business Administration

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Notice to DLA Suppliers: Export-controlled technical information is Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)/Controlled Technical Information (CTI). DLA suppliers seeking export-controlled technical data for DLA procurement opportunities must have a current National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 cybersecurity assessment (i.e., not more than 3 years old unless a lesser time is specified in the solicitation) posted to the DoD Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS) to be considered for award. DLA Suppliers who currently have an approved Enhanced Joint Certification (JCP) but have not posted their NIST SP 800-171 assessment to SPRS will not be able to access export-controlled technical data in DLA’s technical data repository after 16 August 2021. Instructions for posting an assessment on SPRS can be found at For additional information on NIST SP 800-171 assessments and other DoD requirements for safeguarding covered defense information please see DFARS Clause 252.204-7020 NIST SP 800-171 DoD Assessment Requirements. If you have any questions, please e-mail  

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MICC event offers small businesses one-on-one virtual exchange


JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (April 29, 2021) — Small business professionals from across the Mission and Installation Contracting Command conducted approximately 700 one-on-one virtual meetings with more than 290 small businesses during a matchmaking event April 19-20.

The two-day event followed a command-wide advance planning briefing to industry, or APBI, over five days in March attracting more than 1,000 small and large business representatives that could not permit time for individual engagement, according to MICC Office of Small Business Programs officials from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Almost 50 small business professionals, contract specialists, contracting officers, division chiefs, procurement analysts and directors from throughout the MICC and mission partner representatives teamed with the Virginia Procurement Technical Assistance Center to conduct the virtual meetings. Read more…

Posted in: Press Releases

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Notice to 8(a) Clients


For 8(a) Participants that received the 1-year 8(a) program extension, their new program dates may not yet be reflected or updated in DSBS and   

The SBA is aware of system issues transmitting updates between SBA and these systems.

If OSDBU’s or Contracting Officers are concerned about the 8(a) Participant’s program status, they should contact their SBA District Office to confirm the 8(a) Participant’s program status.

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WOSB Alert!


Does your EIN Number begin with a 0?   When beginning your WOSB Application, you are asked to “Claim Your Business.”  You are asked to enter your EIN number; however, if your number begins with a zero, the system does not recognize your number and rejects it.  Please resubmit by omitting the zero, and you will be able to Claim your business and continue your application.

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Government-wide SDVOSB Certification


With the passage of the FY21 NDAA, government-wide SDVOSB verification is coming. Check out the Koprince Law, LLC article on what to expect:

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8(a) certification extended


8(a) certification extended to 10 years for companies admitted before 9/9/2020

From page 400 of the FY2021 NDAA (Public Law No: 116-283):


(a) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall ensure that a small business concern participating in the program established under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637) on or before September 9, 2020, may elect to extend such participation by a period of 1 year, regardless of whether the small business concern previously elected to suspend participation in the program pursuant to guidance of the Administrator.

(b) EMERGENCY RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.—Not later than 15 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator shall issue regulations to carry out this section without regard to the notice requirements under section 553(b) of title 5, United States Code.

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