LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Companies that want to do business with the federal government are facing challenges that weren’t around just a few years ago.

One of those hurdles can be particularly expensive.

Guy Timberlake is the Chief Visionary Officer for the American Small Business Coalition. He jokingly refers to the process as the “RFI-TMI.”

Companies are being asked to provide more information just for the chance to take a shot at a contract, which they might not get anyway. Timberlake says that’s discouraging for companies.

“They’re spending more time and more money to build a response to a document that is not going to necessarily result in an award,” Timberlake says.

He says it isn’t just expensive, it is redundant.

“A lot of the information going into these market research documents is going to be repeated in the RFP,” Timberlake says. “Why is industry having to produce the same information twice, creating the same capture team, for a document that’s not going to result in an award?”

That discourages companies, so fewer companies compete. Timberlake says it’s been going on for a few years, and it’s starting to show.

“What we see happening, its actually making the job of contracting and evaluation folks easier by decreasing the number of responses they expect to receive,” Timberlake says.

The government has processes in place to help them make decisions.

Simply put, market research. Surveys, industry days, RFI’s and any number of activities to allow them to shape their requirements and strategies.

The concern now is that the RFI is requiring so much information, it’s creating unnecessary expense and redundancy.

WNEW’s Amy Morris contributed to this report. Follow her and WNEW on Twitter.

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