LAW OF THE LAND: So you want to do business with the military

William L. Martin III

Believe it or not, in spite of the pending sequestration, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) appears ready to do business with competent firms that can supply the military with its needs. The government maintains a website called “” that currently allows you to search over 23,200 active federal business opportunities, including DoD opportunities as far away as Iraq.

It is national policy that a fair proportion of the products and services used by DoD shall be purchased from small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small businesses. DoD has implemented a program to assist small businesses in obtaining a fair proportion of its contracts. For example, most purchases under $100,000 are reserved for competition among small businesses only.

While virtually any business can register and bid for work, DoD only awards contracts to contractors who are found to be “responsible.” A finding that a contractor is “responsible” is only made after the contractor is the apparent successful bidder. In other words, the government will not predetermine that a contractor is “responsible” before the contractor submits a bid.

Basically, a “responsible” contractor must demonstrate that it (1) has, or is able to obtain, adequate financial resources; (2) is able to comply with the delivery requirements; (3) has a satisfactory record of performance; (4) has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics; (5) has, or is able to obtain, the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills; (6) has, or is able to obtain, the necessary production, construction, and technical equipment and facilities; and (7) is otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations.

For contractors seeking to bid for DoD business, there are numerous resources available to assist in searching and bidding on various opportunities.

Bill Martin is a former B-52 and B-1B pilot and senior attorney for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Keefe, Anchors & Gordon in Fort Walton Beach, Florid. Bill is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.