Contractor Fails to Meet Unsolicited Proposals Requirements

A federal circuit court recently rejected a contractor’s appeal of a failed bid protest against the Navy because the  court concluded that the individual had a lack of standing because his unsolicited proposal did not satisfy Federal Acquisition Regulation standards. The particular element of Federal Acquisition that the contractor failed to meet is that unsolicited proposals must be “innovative and unique” as well as contain sufficient detail for the government to determine whether the plan would be worth pursuing.

Requirements under FAR Standards

Under the Federal Acquisition Regulations, unsolicited proposals must meet six elements to be considered valid by a government contracting officer. Although in this case, the individual provided evidence supporting only four of the six requirements, it is imperative for individuals who are interested in making a bid under the Federal Acquisition Regulations to understand each of these four elements.

It must be emphasized that these six requirements apply only to “unsolicited” proposals which are defined by the federal government as new or innovative ideas that are submitted due to the initiative of the bidding company for the purpose of obtaining a government contract. There are some cases where a proposal is not unsolicited including when it is in response an agency announcement or any other type of government solicitation for such a bid.

These six requirements for unsolicited proposals including the following elements among many others:

  • Detailed enough to show that government support would be worthwhile. In the news article that began this entry, the contractor failed to satisfy this element in his proposal.
  • Independently originated and developed by the offering company.
  • Innovative and unique. The individual in the earlier example also failed to satisfy this element.
  • Not an advance government proposal for a contract that a company is aware the government agency will need eventually.
  • Prepared without the supervision of or any direct government involvement.

Additional Elements that Must be Included in Unsolicited Proposals

In addition to these six necessary elements, some additional information must be contained in an unsolicited proposal which include the following:

  • Contact information for individuals at the company would be involved in the negotiation process for the proposal.
  • The date of submission.
  • Information about the length of the services.
  • A list of other state or federal agencies that are also receiving the proposal.
  • Other statements about relationships that might influence the contract.
  • Personal details including the company’s name, address, and its type of organization.
  • A proposed cost for the project.
  • The signature of the submitter or another person who is authorized to make such a contract with the state or federal government.
  • A title and small abstract about the contents of the proposal. Also included should be a list of the objectives of the proposal and a description of the method that is planned to achieve these goals.

Obtain the Assistance of Knowledgeable Legal Counsel

If you are considering submitting an unsolicited proposal, it is often a wise idea to contact a knowledgeable attorney. One of the most important fields focused on by the attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, & McAuliffe, PC are services helping veterans face the various charges that can arise. If you are a veteran who requires counsel from a reliable and experienced attorney, contact our law firm today by either filling out our online form or calling us at (866) 476-4558.


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