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(pronounced as the initials R.F.I.)

Stands for “Request For Information”. This standardized information gathering process is used in both the general business and construction worlds. If an A&D firm sends out an RFI, it’s usually to various vendors. The goal is to collect written information about the vendors’ various capabilities and offerings needed for a particular application or project. Normally it follows a format that can be used for comparative purposes.

When a General Contractor sends out an RFI, it’s to the A&D firm that has issued a set of construction drawings or specifications. This usually happens during the bid process. One GC might issue the RFI, but the A&D firm will send an official answer to all bidders. If the answer will require no change in cost, the A&D firm can merely issue a Clarification. However, if the GC catches something that will substantially affect the construction cost, then the A&D firm will issue an Addendum to the contract documents.