What's an Unsolicited Proposal?

Jul 24, 2019 3:57:04 PM / by Hayden Johnson

Unsolicited Proposal

So you already know that the federal government puts up solicitations on FBO and a bunch of other websites. However, the opportunities with Uncle Sam don't end there. Actually, you might be able to create your own with an unsolicited proposal.

So, what is an unsolicited proposal?

In this quick, easy-to-read guide, we'll answer that question along with:

  • What are the limits of unsolicited proposals?
  • How would one go about submitting an unsolicited proposal?

Every year the federal government offers businesses over $500 billion worth in opportunities. Not all of these opportunities are alike. Unsolicited proposals are just one of many which might be your ticket into this sector.

So, if you're:

  • Looking to work with a reliable customer.
  • Build a recession-proof stream of revenue.
  • Grow your business.

Then this blog post is for you.

Let's get started.

What is an unsolicited proposal?

What constitutes as an unsolicited proposal is outlined in FAR 15.603. Its name is quite literal in the sense that it's a proposal for something that was not solicited by the government. However, here are the official qualifications for an unsolicited proposal:

  • Be innovative or unique.
  • Be independently originated and developed by the offeror.
  • Include sufficient evidence that government support would be worthwhile and benefit the agency's overall mission, responsibilities, goals, etc.
  • Created without any help or supervision from the government.

Basically, you're telling the government, "Hey, check out this cool thing that you don't know about that only I can make! Plus, I've included everything you would want to know as a buyer!"

Limits of Unsolicited Proposals

You can't just go up to a federal agency and submit an unsolicited proposal for just about anything. There are limits. Here is when you shouldn't submit an unsolicited proposal:

  • For commercial items.
  • When it's being submitted for a known agency requirement that can be acquired through competitive methods.
  • Addresses a previously published agency requirement.

Basically, don't submit an unsolicited proposal if it's for an item that basically anyone can get. Also, if the agency has published its interest in a product or service, give them time to create a develop a competitive process for acquisition.

This doesn't however, bar you from chiming in your own products, services, and perspectives during the sources sought phase.

How do you submit an unsolicited proposal?

An unsolicited proposal is generally going to consist of five basic parts:

  1. Cover Page
  2. Narrative of Proposed Project
  3. Budget Information
  4. Resumes of Principal Personnel
  5. Disclosure Submission Conditions Form

Who you send your proposal to and how you send your proposal depends on the agency. Usually, there will be someone working there with the title of Unsolicited Proposal Manager, Unsolicited Proposal Coordinator, or something along those lines.

One of the most important aspects of submitting an unsolicited proposal is when you submit one. Your business may have its own fiscal year which may even start on January 1st. However, the U.S. federal government's fiscal year begins on October 1st.

Why does this matter?

When submitting unsolicited proposals you want to avoid the end as well as the beginning of the fiscal year. The reason is that toward the end of the fiscal year, the budget might be narrower and there is less wiggle room for unsolicited proposals.

Then, at the beginning of the fiscal year, there tends to be a bunch of congressional budgeting activities. You want to wait until this all settles before submitting an unsolicited proposal.

Tags: Contract Bidding, Guides

Hayden Johnson

Written by Hayden Johnson

Hayden is USFCR's Creative Copywriter. His goal is to help businesses navigate the federal marketplace with quick and simple guides.

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