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Firm Research

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1. Describe the firm (who they are and what they do) and the amount of business they do with the federal government.
The firm I chose that does business with the federal government is Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Lockheed Martin employs 140,000 people worldwide. Robert J. Stevens is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Lockheed Martin is one of the world's largest defense contractors. In 2009, 74% of Lockheed Martin's revenues came from military sales. It received 7.1% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon. The company has received the Collier Trophy six times. They most recently received the award in 2001 for being part of developing the X-35/F-35B Lift Fan Propulsion System, and again in 2006 for leading the team that developed the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin)

Lockheed Martin does a lot of business with the government. They have several contracts that they pursue and perform for the government. Lockheed Martin is active in many aspects of government contracting. Lockheed Martin received $36 billion in government contracts in 2008 alone, more than any company in history. It now does work for more than two dozen government agencies from the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. It's involved in surveillance and information processing for the CIA, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, the Census Bureau and the Postal Service.

2. Discuss the required actions that enable your selected firm to be able to participate in federal government contracting actions.
The first step that Lockheed Martin would have to take to participate in government contracts, and the only legal requirement, is to be registered in the CCR. The CCR is the Central Contractor Registration whereby all national businesses must register their DUNS number and business size classification before they can do business with the federal government. The CCR also contains the Bank routing information for businesses which allows a central database for federal agencies to download business information related to the particular company through this system.
When any company is ready to submit a contract to the federal government there are different steps that should be taken. Another important step you want to make sure you go through is contacting and submitting an Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). By registering on FedBiz Access and adding or claiming your company, there are businesses that will guide you through steps to ensure you are eligible to participate in government work. The three main factors that help businesses compete for federal contracts are socioeconomic criteria, set-asides, and subcontracting requirements. From large businesses, when work is performed in U.S., not personal services, money must be approved before the award.

Depending on what your business is or does there will be different steps and processes to achieve your goal of getting a government contract. A government contract can be a valuable source of income for a business. There are major reasons is it a great source of revenue and can propel your business. One major reason is that the government pays its bills on time. If you have a contract with the U.S. Government, you will know with certainty when and how much you are going to be paid. The government can be your largest customer. The U.S. federal government spent over $530 billion last year for federal contracts. Government spending is consistent in volatile markets. Over the last 10 years, government spending has increased from $205 billion in 2000 to $537 billion in 2010. During this time, the U.S. economy and private business sectors have experienced significant volatility. The U.S. government has continued to increase spending over that same timeframe. Another important reason a government contract is valuable is, government contracting revenues can last indefinitely. If your company can continue to offer value to the U.S. government, the U.S. government will likely continue to come back to you as a contracting resource. The result can be a long-term relationship that provides consistent, sustainable revenue for your company.

There are different rules when seeking and working with government contracts. For standard contracts equal to or exceeding $100,000, the following process takes place: Acquisition Planning & Market Research Oral Presentations (if required) Negotiations (if required) Award Debriefing (Negotiated acquisitions, if requested) Subcontracting Plan Final Approval (Large business only, if required) Solicitation Advertised Electronically Solicitation Issued Electronically Submit Bids/Proposals Electronically Bids/Proposals Evaluated Performance & Successful Completion. A number of cost thresholds exist that trigger increasing degrees of complexity in the acquisition process. These thresholds include the micro-purchase threshold, the simplified acquisition threshold, and the commercial items threshold.

3. Analyze the operations and functions of the key participants in the federal procurement process and assess your selected firm’s ability to satisfy expected requirements.
Federal Government contracting has the same elements as contracting between private parties: a lawful purpose, competent contracting parties, an offer, an acceptance that complies with the terms of the offer, mutuality of obligation, and consideration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_procurement_in_the_United_States). Private parties entering into a contract with one another are much freer to establish a broad range of contract terms by mutual consent than a private party entering into a contract with the Federal Government. Each private party represents its own interests and can obligate itself in any lawful manner. Federal Government contracts allow for the creation of contract terms by mutual consent of the parties, but many areas addressed by mutual consent in commercial contracts are controlled by law in Federal contracts and legally require use of prescribed provisions and clauses.
An important person in the procurement process is the contracting officer. The contracting officer has no authority act outside of his or her warrant or to deviate from the laws and regulations controlling Federal Government contracts. The private contracting party is held to know the limitations of the Contracting Officer's authority, even if the Contracting Officer does not. This makes contracting with the United States a very structured and restricted process. Generally, federal acquisitions begin with identification of a requirement by a specific federal activity. A basic idea of what is needed and the problem statement is prepared and the requiring activity meets with an acquisition command having a Contracting Officer with an appropriate warrant issued by a specific acquisition activity.

Lockheed Martin is well equipped to be able to satisfy expected requirements. They have been in the business for over 10 years and have had many government contracts. Lockheed Martin has had some investigations conducted when allegations arose of false claim submissions. They did settle the claims with the government and got back to business. Even through the adversity they are one of the top companies that do business with the government and are still going strong.

References
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_procurement_in_the_United_States)
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/…...

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