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resources and estimating costs.  Those offerors determined not to be in the competitive range are notified.  Announcement of the successful offeror cannot be made until the entire process has been completed.  The negotiation method is time consuming with a good deal of oversight to ensure full and open competition.  The contracting officer directs the process and is the appropriate person to contact for the status of proposals.

Contracts resulting from the negotiation process may range from firm-fixed price, under which the contractor delivers products conforming to specifications at a specified price, to a cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF) basis, under which ED reimburses the contractor for all allowable and reasonable costs incurred within contract limits, plus a fixed fee.

Unsolicited Proposals

FAR Subpart 15.6 describes the circumstances under which a Government agency may review and accept a proposal which is submitted on the initiative of the offeror and that is not in response to any Government-initiated solicitation or program. It says that a valid unsolicited proposal must:

Be innovative and unique;

Be independently originated and developed by the offeror;

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; and

Not be an advance proposal for a known agency requirement that can be acquired by competitive methods.

In order to be acceptable for formal evaluation, an unsolicited proposal must contain:

(a) basic information, including:


offeror’s name and address and type of organization (e.g., profit, nonprofit, educational, small business);


names and telephone numbers of technical and business personnel to be contacted for evaluation or negotiation purposes;


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 a person authorized to represent and contractually obligate the offeror;

(b) technical information, including:


concise title and abstract (approximately 200 words) of the proposed effort;


a reasonably complete discussion stating the objectives of the effort or activity, the method of approach and extent of effort to be employed, the nature and extent of the anticipated results, and the manner in which the work will help to support accomplishment of the agency’s mission;

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