Teaming agreements are practical and useful agreements on public projects where a prime contractor teams with a subcontractor for purposes of submitting a bid or proposal in response to a solicitation. The prime contractor and subcontractor work together to pursue that solicitation and have the government award the contract to the prime contractor. The teaming agreement allows for information to be confidentially shared (estimating and pricing, construction methodologies, systems, and suggestions, value engineering, etc.) where the subcontractor agrees that it will only pursue the solicitation with the prime contractor. In other words, the subcontractor ideally is not going to submit pricing to another prime contractor proposing or bidding on the same project and is not going to share information the prime contractor has furnished to it. Likewise, the prime contractor is not going to use the subcontractor’s information for purposes of finding another subcontractor at a lower price and is agreeing to use its good faith efforts or best attempts to enter into a subcontract with the subcontractor if it is awarded the project. This is all memorialized in the teaming agreement.
The potential problem lies with language that requires the parties to use their good faith efforts or best attempts to enter into a subcontract if the project is awarded to the prime contractor. In essence, this can become a disfavored “agreement to agree” to a future contract that could allow either party to create an argument to back out of the deal under the auspice that they could not come to terms with the subcontract.