Category Archives: RFP Response Terminology

A glossary of terms used widely in RFPs and in proposal process management, as well as those that apply to procurement overall. Limit search alphabetically by using the tag.

Term: Lead

In Proposal Land, a lead is a proposal team member assigned to coordinate a task area, as in “Who has the lead on that?”

In the real world, a lead is someone (just short of a supervisor) assigned to coordinate a task area. Most often seen on large projects that require layers of supervision and technically or functionally conversant supervision.

In both cases, this use connotes that the position does the work as well as supervises it.

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Term: Response Instructions

The ignore-at-your-own-risk rules about how the proposal is to be submitted:

  • The document (content, organization, volume and section numbering, number of copies, binder labelling, page limits, and things that affect page definitions [paper size, font type and pitch, margins, line spacing, character spacing])
  • The electronic version (file types, file names, size restrictions, media to be used)
  • The packaging instructions (labelling, separation of financial and technical submissions)
  • The delivery instructions (date, time, location, recipient)

Sometimes include submission mandatories.

Often internally inconsistent. Can sometimes be clarified and even negotiated with the client through the Q&A process. And sometimes not.

In Canadian contracting also called Instructions to Bidders; in American government contracting usually called Instructions for Proposal Preparation (IFPP).

Never under any name to be confused with evaluation criteria, which specify how the document produced in response to these instructions will be marked.

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Term: Instructions to Bidders

The RFP section in which the client tells bidders how to prepare, organize, and submit their proposals (or their submissions in response to any other Request; for example, an RFQ).

See also “response instructions.”

Must be followed.

Or else.

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Term: Industrial and Technical Benefits (ITBs)

Revision to the IRB Program as of February 2014; focused on ensuring that defence procurements create jobs and leverage economic growth within Canada.

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Term: Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRBs)

Benefits accruing to defined regions of Canada from a Canadian government policy requiring a contractor awarded a defence or security contract to award subcontracts to Canadian industry to the same dollar value as the prime contract.

Also used to mean the dollar value of said subcontracts.

Also used to refer more loosely to requirements to commit to such a benefit in an RFP.

Drive what looks to the uninitiated like onerous reporting, both in the proposal and throughout the contract term.

Acronymized as IRBs; pronounced by spelling it out.

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