The Ten Principles of Successful Contracting

  1. Encourage competition.

  2. Prohibit employees from having any financial or other interest in the contract.

  3. Prohibit ex-employees from representing others, such as a contractor, before the agency. Two years prohibition after leaving the agency may be an appropriate period.

  4. Only allow bid openings and awards in an open, public meeting.

  5. If a bid is awarded on any basis other than the lowest competitive written proposal, publicize the rationale for the decision. Any formal bid analysis should be made public.

  6. In setting standards, do not use the specification of anyone bidding for the contract.

  7. If the bid is to be negotiated or based on an RFP basis, prepare a formal explanation of why the agency's interests are best served by the manner proposed.

  8. Rely on legal counsel throughout the

  9. Once the bidding process begins, limit contacts with contractors to the negotiation period.

  10. Publicize bid awards widely and vigorously and keep a record of the search for contractors and the bid award.

Source: John Rehfuss, Reason Foundation/Mackinac Center for Public Policy Privatization How-to Guide No. 3, 1993.