I was asked: “I need an Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE). What is an IGCE and do you have a sample for me”?

Edited from Wikipedia

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) defines a cost estimate as, “the summation of individual cost elements, using established methods and valid data, to estimate the future costs of a program, based on what is known today.” The GAO reports “realistic cost estimating was imperative when making wise decisions in acquiring new systems.”[2] A cost estimate is often needed to support evaluations of project feasibility or funding requirements in support of planning. A cost estimate is often used to establish a budget as the cost constraint for a project or operation.

An Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE) is the Government’s estimate of what a responsible contractor should propose based on the statement of work. The IGCE should not be divulged to any potential contractor. There are various steps required in the development of an IGCE.  The IGCE should be prepared by the Program Office Personnel and not prepared by the Contractor; it is preferable that the IGCE be be prepared by the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) since the COR will be administering the contract; however, due to factors many “IGCEs” are provided by contractors interested in particular procurements.

Here is a sample Independent Government Cost Estimate guide and template from a US Federal Agency, USAID: