NAPM InfoEdge
November 1997, Vol. 3 No. 3

A Basic Introduction Members Only Content

A statement of work (SOW), as defined in the NAPM Glossary of Key Purchasing Terms, Second Edition, is a statement outlining specific services a contractor is expected to perform, generally indicating the type, level, and quality of service, as well as the time schedule required. Ironically, though it might be the most critical part of a complex contract (especially those that involve some type of services delivery), the SOW to those involved in any type of post-contract review find it commonly to be the weakest link. Not only is the statement of work a critical component of the contract (it expresses the desired output of the contract in legally enforceable terms), but it often becomes the heart of the request for proposal (RFP), as well as the offeror's proposal, making the SOW a key component in three of the links contained within the acquisition process (see boxes).

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