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Unsolicited Proposals

An “unsolicited proposal” means a written proposal for a new or innovative idea that is submitted to an agency on the initiative of the offeror for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the Government, and that is NOT in response to a Request for Proposals, Broad Agency Announcement, Small Business Innovation Research topic, Small Business Technology Transfer Research topic, Program Research and Development announcement, or any other Government-initiated solicitation or program.

For additional information, including agency procedures for review, evaluation, and acceptance of unsolicited proposals, vendors are encouraged to read Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 2.101 and Subpart 15.6, as supplemented.

Valid Unsolicited Proposal

A valid unsolicited proposal must:

  • Be innovative and unique;
  • Be independently originated and developed by the offeror. Unsolicited proposals in response to a publicized general statement of agency needs are considered to be independently originated;
  • Be prepared without Government supervision, endorsement, direction, or direct Government involvement;
  • 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;
  • Not be an advance proposal for a known agency requirement that can be acquired by competitive methods; and
  • Not address a previously published agency requirement.

Contents Of A Valid Unsolicited Proposal

In accordance with FAR 15.605, unsolicited proposals should contain the following information to permit consideration in an objective and timely manner:

Basic information including:

  • Offeror’s name & address, type of organization (e.g., profit, nonprofit, educational, small business, etc.);
  • Contact information for evaluation/negotiation purposes; including, names & telephone numbers;
  • Identification of proprietary data to be used only for evaluation purposes;
  • Names of other Federal, State, or local agencies or parties receiving the proposal or funding the proposed effort;
  • Date of submission; and
  • Signature of person authorized to represent & contractually obligate the offeror.

Technical information including:

  • Concise title & abstract (approximately 200 words) of the proposed effort;
  • A reasonably complete discussion stating objectives of the effort or activity, the method of approach and extent of effort to be employed, the nature & extent of anticipated results, & manner in which the work will help to support accomplishment of the agency’s mission;
  • Names & biographical info for offeror’s key personnel who would be involved, including alternates; and
  • Type of support needed from the agency (e.g., facilities, equipment, materials, or personnel resources).

Supporting information including:

  • Proposed price or total estimated cost for the effort in sufficient detail for meaningful evaluation;
  • Period of time for which the proposal is valid (a six month minimum is suggested);
  • Type of contract preferred;
  • Proposed duration of effort;
  • Brief description of the offeror, previous experience, relevant past performance, & facilities to be used;
  • Other statements, if applicable, about organizational conflicts of interest, security clearances, & environmental impacts; and
  • Names & telephone numbers of any agency technical or other agency points of contact already contacted regarding the proposal.

NOT An Unsolicited Proposal

The following submittals are NOT considered to meet the definition of an unsolicited proposal:

  • Advertising material – Material designed to acquaint the Government with a prospective contractor’s present products, services, or potential capabilities, or designed to stimulate the Government’s interest in buying such products or services.
  • Commercial item offer – An offer of a commercial item that the vendor wishes to see introduced in the Government’s supply system as an alternate or a replacement for an existing supply item. This term does not include innovative or unique configurations or uses of commercial items that are being offered for further development and that may be submitted as an unsolicited proposal.
  • Contribution – A concept, suggestion, or idea presented to the Government for its use with no indication that the source intends to devote any further effort to it on the Government’s behalf

Submission Instructions

Unsolicited proposals can be submitted to the following:

Indian Health Service
Division of Acquisition Policy
5600 Fishers Lane
9th Floor
Rockville, MD 20852
ATTN: Unsolicited Proposal
Electronic submissions can be emailed to:

Receipt and Initial Review

The Division of Acquisition Policy will evaluate each proposal received to determine if the proposal is:

  1. Is a valid unsolicited proposal, meeting the requirements of 15.603(c); Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 
  2. Is suitable for submission in response to an existing agency requirement (see 15.602); Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 
  3. Is related to the agency mission;
  4. Contains sufficient technical information and cost-related or price-related information for evaluation;
  5. Has overall scientific, technical, or socioeconomic merit;
  6. Has been approved by a responsible official or other representative authorized to obligate the offeror contractually; and
  7. Complies with the marking requirements of 15.609. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

If the proposal meets these requirements the contracting office shall promptly acknowledge receipt in writing to the vendor and forward the proposal to the appropriate office for a technical review. If the proposal receives a favorable comprehensive evaluation and it is determined that the item/service proposed is not available to the Government without restriction from another source, funds are available, and a synopsis of the requirement has been posted, then the Contracting Officer may commence negotiations on a sole source basis. The vendor will be required to complete a Certification by Offeror statement as required by HHSAR 315.605(d).

Other Considerations

Only warranted Contracting Officers have authority to contractually bind the Government. Technical personnel who may receive, handle, or evaluate unsolicited proposals are not authorized to commit the Government. Offerors submitting unsolicited proposals that meet the regulatory requirements & receive a favorable comprehensive evaluation may only receive award after the contracting officer:

  • Makes an affirmative determination of an offeror’s responsibility (FAR Subpart 9.1);
  • Considers Organizational Conflicts of Interest issues (FAR Subpart 9.5);
  • Ensures sufficient funds are available for award;
  • Complies with synopsis requirements of FAR Subpart 5.2; and
  • Executes any determination & finding or justification and obtained any approval(s) required by FAR Subpart 6.3.

In the event the proposal is not accepted, the Government is not obligated in any way to reimburse the offeror for any cost that may have been incurred in preparing & submitting the unsolicited proposal.