surety bondingIn recent years, the Federal Government — and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in particular — has moved away from an open competition sealed bidding process for construction contracts towards a Multiple Award Task Order Contracting (MATOC) bidding system.

Under this system, a pool of qualified bidders is selected for a “seed” project based on a combination of lowest bid, experience and other qualifying factors. Those who get the initial seed project will then be eligible to bid on subsequent projects in the related “task order” group, usually on an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) basis.

Everyone else gets left in the cold. For this reason, having a stellar first proposal for an initial MATOC bid is absolutely critical. Missing out on this window of opportunity means missing out on many more down the line.

You can learn more about the MATOC bidding process and how surety bonds are such an important component of them by reading on.

What Is a MATOC, and How Do I Know If I’m Winning It?

The best way to summarize MATOCs is that they are the equivalent of getting put on the varsity league, but not getting any guarantee of field time. A group of projects is arranged into a “multiple task order,” and only a select few projects on the task order actually have finalized scopes, expected completion dates or requirement outlines.

Firms that win a MATOC therefore have a high chance at securing further bids for the next five to six years out. No one else is eligible to bid on these upcoming projects, so companies have to pre-emptively show their merit on an unrelated seed project even if they might be the best qualified for a future project under the MATOC.

This procurement system is criticized as unfair by some, but it has everything to do with reducing costs and labor hours spent during the procurement phase. Instead of each proposed project undergoing a months-long bidding process, those in the MATOC pool have as little as 14 days to bid on a project proposal. So, even if you are part of a MATOC pool, competition is still stiff and requires quick, decisive action.

And, naturally, those who do not make it into the MATOC pool miss out on contracts for quite a while.

Surety Bonding a Crucial Part of Being Competitive for MATOCs

During the seed project bidding phase and subsequent bidding periods, each firm has to be prepared to bring their A game to the bidding process. Their proposals must be well-drafted, competitive and indicative of a high standard of professionalism.

One of the most important components of the latter is having the surety bonding needed to signal financial stability. Firms with a high aggregate bonding limits — and the financials needed to secure such a limit — do not have to scramble to prepare for a new task order within the MATOC agreement. They can draft their proposal with a focus on determining the design and materials needed to keep their bid low but still promise a project with a high standard of quality.

Any firm looking to secure a MATOC will therefore need to work with a surety bonding company if they want to improve their chances at a successful future in government contract work. If you want to learn more about securing surety bonds and improving your overall competitiveness for MATOC You can speak to one of our surety bonding experts to get started today.