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Unsolicited Proposals

What are unsolicited proposals?

An unsolicited proposal is a written proposal that is submitted to an agency on the initiative of the offeror for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the government. It is not in response to a request for proposals or any other government-initiated solicitation or program.

Unsolicited proposals allow unique and innovative ideas or approaches that have been developed outside the government to be made available to government agencies for use in the accomplishment of their missions. These proposals are offered with the intent that the government will enter into a contract with the offeror for research and development or other efforts supporting the government's mission, and they often represent a substantial investment of time and effort by the offeror.

What criteria must an unsolicited proposal meet to be valid?

A valid unsolicited proposal must:

Be innovative and unique

Be independently originated and developed by the offeror

Be prepared without government supervision, endorsement, or direction, or direct government involvement

Include sufficient detail to permit the determination that government support could be worthwhile and the proposed work could benefit the agency's research and development or other mission responsibilities

Not be an advance proposal for a known agency requirement that could be acquired by competitive methods.

What qualities are considered in the evaluation of an unsolicited proposal?

An evaluation of the proposal is required to determine if the proposal contains:

Unique, innovative, and meritorious methods, approaches, or concepts

Overall scientific, technical, or socioeconomic merits

A potential contribution to the agency's specific mission.

The CO also considers the offeror's capabilities, related experience, facilities, and techniques.

What is the basis for rejection of an unsolicited proposal?

Unsolicited proposals must be rejected if:

The services or supplies proposed are available to the government without restriction from another source

The proposal closely resembles a pending competitive acquisition requirement

The proposal does not relate to the government's mission

The proposal does not demonstrate an innovative and unique method, approach, or concept, or is otherwise not deemed a meritorious proposal.

When may a CO accept an unsolicited proposal on a sole source basis?

The CO may commence negotiations on a sole source basis only when:

An unsolicited proposal has received a favorable comprehensive evaluation

A justification and approval for negotiation of the proposal on a sole source basis has been obtained from the program (technical) office

The program office sponsoring the contract furnishes the necessary funds

The CO has complied with synopsis requirements (FAR Part 5, the policies and procedures for publicizing contract opportunities and award information) because the acceptance and final negotiation of the unsolicited proposal constitutes a sole source contract award.

What is the COR's role when an unsolicited proposal is received?

The COR will be responsible for the technical coordination and evaluation of the unsolicited proposal; he or she will provide technical advice on whether the unsolicited proposal should be accepted or rejected. The CO is responsible for determining the contractual acceptability of the unsolicited proposal and may also have to coordinate with other members of the acquisition team (such as the cost or price analyst, legal counsel, or small business representatives) depending on the particulars of the specific unsolicited proposal.

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