How Do I Read a Government RFP?

The task of reading a government RFP may feel daunting when you find that these documents can be hundreds, or even thousands of pages long. The most important sections are sections A, L, B, M, C, and K.

Since most government RFPs follow a format mandated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), where the RFP is divided into sections A through M, here is an insider's guide to the most important sections to zero in on, and what they mean to you and your company. 

  • Section A - Cover page. Here you will find a due date.
  • Section L - This is where you get information on how to format and organize your proposal, as well as where to submit it. You will also find information here outlining what needs to be included. Pay close attention here for details about layout, page count, etc. You will usually find a deadline for questions in this section as well.
  • Section B - This section tells you what the contract type is and the pricing format. For many contractors, this is the section that has the greatest impact on their bid/no bid decision.
  • Section M - This section tells you what criteria need to be met for a proposal to win the bid. Here the scoring method is outlined, and you are given details of what is needed to submit a winning proposal that earns a maximum score. 
  • Section C/STATEMENT OF WORK - Here you are told what to propose, as well as the requirements you must meet, and areas where you can differentiate yourself from the competition. You should also look in Section J for additional hidden STATEMENT OF WORK details.
  • Section K - This section is for CERTIFICATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS - This can be things such as your TIN, the status of your personnel, or affirming that you are a US firm, woman-owned, or minority-owned firm.

Need Government Contract Accounting help? With 20+ years of experience, our experts at Peter Witts CPA PC are here to answer any questions you have about how to read a Request for Proposal.


I’m Kristin, the PWCPA PC Customer Success Specialist. For more information about this topic, or any other, you can always reach me through our customer ticketing system.