Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Unsolicited Proposals - In General

It is Government policy to encourage the submission of new and innovative ideas. One way the Government encourages such ideas is to "consider" unsolicited proposals. Unsolicited contractor proposals often allow unique and innovative ideas or approaches that have been developed outside the Government to be made available to Government agencies for use in accomplishment of their missions. Such proposals are offered with the intent that the Government will enter into a contract with the offeror. Usually, unsolicited proposals represent a substantial investment of time and effort by the offeror.

In order to be considered valid, unsolicited proposals must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be innovative or unique
  2. Be independently originated and developed by the offeror
  3. Be prepared without Government supervision, endorsement, direction, or direct Government involvement
  4. Include sufficient detail to permit a determination that Government support could be worthwhile and the proposed work could benefit the agency's research and development or other mission responsibilities
  5. Not address a previously published agency requirement.
FAR 15.6 contains guidance for receiving, performing an initial review, performing a comprehensive review and negotiating unsolicited proposals. In addition, every agency has their own procedures for controlling the receipt, evaluation, and timely disposition of unsolicited proposals. Unsolicited proposals could be rejected at any one of these steps.

Favorable comprehensive evaluations of unsolicited proposals do not necessarily justify the awards of contracts without providing for full and open competition. Reasons to reject unsolicited proposals, even where the Government likes the idea, include,
  • The substance is available to the Government without restriction from another source
  • It closely resembles a pending competitive acquisition requirement
  • It does not related to the activity's mission, or
  • It does not demonstrate an innovative and unique method, approach, or concept, or is otherwise not deemed a meritorious proposal.
Keep in mind the term "innovative and unique". This is the first criteria that the Government considers and if the Government is not convinced of a proposals uniqueness or inventiveness, it will be rejected.

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