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Analyze Unsolicited Proposals

An unsolicited proposal is the offer to sell to the Postal Service the rights to ideas, concepts, products, processes, or technology. It is considered unsolicited because it is not submitted in response to a solicitation, request for proposals (RFP), or any other Postal Service-initiated solicitation or program.

Unsolicited proposals must include enough technical and cost information to allow an effective initial evaluation of what is being proposed and its potential benefits to the Postal Service. Unsolicited proposals are only accepted for initial evaluation when they do not contain confidential or proprietary information not protected by copyright or patent. Therefore, a signed copy of the Confidential Disclosure Disclaimer must be included when submitting the proposal to certify that it does not contain any confidential or proprietary information not protected by copyright or patent. Unsolicited proposals that do not contain a signed copy of the disclaimer will be returned to the submitter unreviewed.

Receipt of Unsolicited Proposals

Each Supply Management (SM) Portfolio has a designated Unsolicited Proposal Coordinator. After the unsolicited proposal undergoes an initial consideration, this individual will respond to the submitter, generally within seven business days of receipt of the proposal, advising that its unsolicited proposal(s) was received and the date of such receipt. When appropriate, the letter will include the specific person and/or organization that the proposal was forwarded to for review. The letter should state that the submitter will be notified of the results of the review as soon as it is completed.

Supply Management serves as the primary clearinghouse or facilitator until a decision is made whether to pursue an unsolicited proposal. The Unsolicited Proposal Coordinator will follow up if proposal reviews are not completed in a reasonable time, generally 30 calendar days. A follow-up letter to the submitter will be issued providing an update on the status of the proposal.

Electronic records will be maintained by the Unsolicited Proposal Coordinator for each unsolicited proposal received and will include:

Date received

Name of the submitter and the basic idea of the proposal

Whether the associated correspondence was Postmaster General (PMG)-/Vice President (VP)-controlled (assigned control #)

Reviewing organization sent to for review and when

Review due date (generally 30 calendar days)

Any subsequent follow-up correspondence

Disposition and date of notification to the submitter of the disposition

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The Unsolicited Proposal Program Process

The Unsolicited Proposal Program (UPP) ensures that the business interests of both parties are fully protected and acknowledged. The UPP process has been developed based on three steps:

Initial consideration

Discussion and evaluation

Acceptance or denial

Initial Consideration

A preliminary review of each unsolicited proposal is performed to determine whether:

It meets the definition of an unsolicited proposal and is not a marketing initiative.

It offers potential benefit to the business and competitive objectives of the Postal Service and is not already under consideration by the organization.

It does not contain confidential or proprietary information not protected by a copyright or patent.

Unsolicited proposals must offer innovative ideas and concepts related to a Postal Service line of business. Submittals that meet this standard are forwarded to the organization within the Postal Service that is responsible for the operation potentially affected by the proposal.

If the unsolicited proposal is determined to be incomplete, the responsible Unsolicited Proposal Coordinator will send a letter to the submitter. The letter will advise that the proposal is incomplete, specify what is missing, and request the necessary information.

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Discussion and Evaluation

After the organization conducts its initial review, and, if the unsolicited proposal is deemed innovative and potentially beneficial to business objectives, the submitter will be asked to provide either a more complete written proposal and/or an oral presentation to a Purchase/SCM Team within the Postal Service. Confidential or proprietary information should not be presented at this stage of review.

If a more thorough evaluation of the proposal can be gained only by the review of confidential or proprietary information, the Postal Service will consider entering into a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) with the submitter which ensures privacy and confidentiality and the Postal Service's protection of information. NDAs are available from Legal Counsel and may not be entered into before consultation with assigned counsel.

The submitter will be notified if the Postal Service determines that the unsolicited proposal is not potentially beneficial.


Following the discussion and evaluation stage, if the Postal Service accepts an unsolicited proposal, the Contracting Officer will start to negotiate a contract with the submitter. Terms of the contract will control rights to use the idea or concept. However, entering into discussions and negotiations does not guarantee that a contract will be entered into.


The Postal Service may determine at any point in the process that further pursuit of the unsolicited proposal is not in its business interests and that both parties should discontinue further discussions. Contents of discussions, evaluations, and negotiations will not constitute any binding obligation on the part of either party until a contract is executed.

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