News: Vendor workshop provides inside view of contracting and bidding process
Story by Keith Dixon
DOHA, Qatar - More than 230 company representatives assembled recently at the Doha, Qatar Ramada Hotel to participate in a one-day contractor vendor workshop. The purpose was to familiarize the local vendors with the process and policies of registering their companies and submitting contract bids to American government contracting agencies.
Several agencies hosted the workshop including the U.S. Embassy, Army Corps of Engineers, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing (U.S. Air Force) and Army Contracting Command–Qatar (subordinate to 480th Contracting Support Brigade).
In her opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Susan L. Ziadeh stated, “We share an excellent relationship with our host in the education and arts sector,” she said. “What you learn here today can only teach us how to be better partners. I would like to have more of this type of cooperation and reach out to our host nation military in a variety of ways.”
The vendor’s role is crucial to the service, supply, and maintenance of facilities the U.S. agencies operate in Qatar. The American government procures various types of construction projects such as renovation and repair of real property from local vendors who have successfully submitted proposals resulting in the awarding of a contract.
However, because of stringent safety and security compliance required by all American government contracts, the process of doing business with local contractors can be challenging, for both the vendor and the U.S. government.
The workshop assisted local vendors by showing them the way to do business with the American government. A team of U.S. government contracting experts were available to answer questions about navigating the bidding and contracting process.
“This workshop afforded the vendors the opportunity to have direct face interaction with us,” said Maj. Brent Rockow, a contracting officer with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. “This is the second vendor workshop that has been held in the state of Qatar.”
The full use of technology was employed, as vendors were instructed to bring laptops, tablets, and smartphones to the workshop. The workshop was 100 percent environmentally-driven (an entirely paperless operation).
The entire presentation was available via government point-of-entry. There was also a real-time networking page to facilitate additional subcontracting opportunities among the vendors that were that were present.
Lt. Col. Lee MacGregor, commander of Army Contracting Command and a native of Raphine, Va., said, “This workshop was a great opportunity to reach out to the Qatar business community and educate and inform them on how to properly conduct business with the U.S. government,” he said. “One of the desired outcomes of this event is increased competition for our requirements which benefits the American taxpayers.”
“Above all, we welcome the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our host nation,” Rockow said.