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If the RFP is being issued by a government agency, assume that the answer is always 'yes.'

Personally, the only reason I'd ever recommend responding to [a public-sector] RFP is if it's a hoop you need to jump through in order to formalize a deal that's already been effectively struck.

If anything I think you're probably underestimating the extent to which GSA-style RFPs are rigged. I tag-teamed a bunch of times with our FedGov sales guy at the last company I was at, and we closed deals at the Pentagon and elsewhere, and (a) the stories you hear are ridiculous (like the companies that pay, say, an Inuit to be on the board so they can get some obscure diversity credit), and (b) even our company, which had multiple tens of millions of dollars in both funding and topline revenue at the time, had to work through a subcontracting arrangement.

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