What is an RFI?
The Request for Information (RFI) is a document used by the government to help them understand if there are commercial companies interested in meeting a specific set of government requirements.
As the Federal Government has established percentages of total agency business to be awarded to small business concerns, the government also uses the RFI process to aid in determining if there are a sufficient number of small businesses by socio-economic distinction that can perform the work. In some cases, the government will release a basic set of requirements and request the commercial sector’s review of the format, content and potential solutions to meeting the requirements. The government also uses RFI’s to determine if there are Commercial Off the Shelf solutions or unique solutions to meeting their requirement that they are not aware of. You should respond to the RFI such that the government would be aware of your interest in the opportunity, which also makes it easier for you to set up meetings to gain additional intelligence. However, you should exercise great caution is responding to the RFI with any technical information as to the “How” of your potential solution. This includes COTS products that you might be aware of and may incorporate into your solution. You should provide the government with your past performance with like contracts and references for those contracts.