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5.33.950 Unsolicited Proposal Policy.

(Added by Ordinance No. 189878, effective March 4, 2020.)

A.  Public-private partnerships create opportunities for both the public and private sectors.  Recognizing that the structure of these partnerships will be dependent upon the scope and the opportunities that the partnership offers, the involved parties play varying roles and assume varying degrees of responsibility in achieving the intended outcome of any partnership.

The intent of this Policy is to provide a mechanism for the private sector to initiate partnerships with the City outside of the typical procurement process, which requires the City to first issue a solicitation before it can consider proposals or Offers from the private sector for products and/or services.  When public-private partnerships are properly conceived and implemented, including having the support of the community and local jurisdictions, they can offer significant advantages to both the public and private sectors.

The City believes that this policy will facilitate more public-private partnerships with the following characteristics:

1.  Leveraging the expertise and resources of the private sector and allowing firms to submit innovative, creative and proprietary approaches, plans, processes, procedures, and solutions that have commercial value to the City to assist in delivering products and/or services to the residents of the City of Portland that cannot be achieved through normal methods of procurement or financing;

2.  Encouraging and promoting business and employment opportunities with the City of Portland

B.  Definition of an Unsolicited Proposal

An unsolicited proposal should be distinguished from the following:

1.  Advertising Material – Material designed to acquaint the City with a prospective Offeror’s current off-the-shelf products and/or services or potential capabilities;

2.  Commercial Product Offerings – Offers of standard commercial products or services usually sold in substantial quantities to government agencies or the general public which the Offeror desires the City to procure as an alternative or replacement for existing products or services;

3.  Contributions – Concepts, suggestions or mere ideas presented to the City for its use, with no indication on the part of the Offeror that it will continue with its efforts with regard to such concepts, suggestions or ideas on behalf of the City; and

4.  Technical Correspondence – Written inquiries regarding the City’s interest in research areas, pre-proposal explorations and technical inquiries.

C.  Content of Unsolicited Proposals

Unsolicited proposals should contain the following information in order to permit consideration in an objective and timely manner:

1.  Basic information – this shall include the name and address of the Offeror;  type of organization e.g. for profit, nonprofit, educational, small business, etc…; names and telephone number of the Offeror’s technical and business personnel whom the City may contact for evaluation or negotiation purposes; identification of any proprietary data which the Offeror intends to be used by the City only for evaluation purposes; names of any other Federal, State or Local agencies or other parties receiving the proposal and/or funding the proposed effort or activity; date of submission; and signature of a responsible official or representative of the organization.

2.  Technical information – this includes a concise title and an abstract of the proposed products and/or services; 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; the manner in which the effort or activity will help support the accomplishment of the services the City provides to the residents of the City of Portland; the names and brief biographical information of the Offeror’s key personnel who would be involved; and the type of support or effort, if any, that the City would be expected to provide or perform.

3.  Supporting information – this includes a proposed price or total estimated cost; a cost estimate for the proposed effort or activity sufficiently detailed by elements of cost for meaningful evaluation; the type of contract preferred; the period of time for which the proposal is valid; the proposed duration of effort; statements, if applicable, regarding cost sharing and the level of investment to be made by the Offeror; organizational conflicts of interest; environmental impacts; and brief descriptions of the organization, previous work or experience in the field of the proposal and facilities to be utilized for the work, where appropriate for understanding the unsolicited proposal.

D.  Advance Guidance

Organizations or individuals interested in submitting an unsolicited proposal are encouraged to first contact the City to make preliminary inquiries as to the general need for the products and/or services contemplated.  Prior contact with City personnel is permissible and should be encouraged with the limited objective of conveying to the prospective Offeror an understanding of the City’s needs relative to the product or service contemplated by the prospective Offeror.  Contact shall be conducted in a manner that

1.  precludes a bureau commitment regarding acceptance of an unsolicited proposal;

2.  avoids providing the prospective Offeror a competitive advantage for any planned competitive solicitation.

E.  Process and Evaluation Description

The City will follow a three step evaluation process in determining whether to accept an unsolicited proposal.  A favorable comprehensive evaluation will not, in itself, result in the awarding of a contract to the Offeror.  The three step process shall be as follows:

1.  Step One – Initial Evaluation

a.  A prospective Offeror shall submit its unsolicited proposal to Procurement Services at the following address:

(1)  City of Portland

(2)  Procurement Services Division

(3)  Attn: Chief Procurement Officer

(4)  Unsolicited proposals shall be submitted well in advance of the Offeror’s desired beginning of the proposed effort or activity in order to allow the City sufficient time to evaluate the proposal and negotiate a contract if the unsolicited proposal is accepted by the City.

b.  An initial evaluation shall be conducted by the appropriate City staff to determine that the proposal contains sufficient technical and cost information to permit a meaningful evaluation and that it was submitted by a responsible official or authorized representative of the organization submitting the proposal or a person who is authorized to contractually obligate the organization.

c.  In evaluating an unsolicited proposal, the following criteria will be considered in addition to other criteria relevant to the offer:

(1)  Unique, innovative, or meritorious methods, approaches, ideas or solutions that have originated with or have been assembled together by the Offeror that are contained in the unsolicited proposal.

(2)  Overall merits of the proposed products and/or services.

(3)  Potential contribution that the proposed effort or activity is expected to achieve for the City, if pursued.

(4)  Capabilities related to experience, facilities, techniques or unique combinations thereof, which the Offeror possesses and offers, and which are considered integral factors for achieving the objective(s) of the unsolicited proposal.

(5)  Qualifications, capabilities and experiences of the proposed principal, team leader or key personnel who are considered to be critical in achieving the objectives of the unsolicited proposal.

(6)  The financial benefit to the City in implementing the unsolicited proposal.

d.  Upon completion of the initial evaluation, City staff performing the evaluation shall prepare a memo setting forth the evaluation results and submit to the Chief Procurement Officer.  The memo shall also recommend further action, if any.

e.  The City is not required to conduct a secondary evaluation if, upon application of the above described criteria, the proposal is deemed not to be within the purview of the City’s interests.  In such cases, the Offeror shall be furnished a reply stating how the document is being interpreted by the City and the reasons for not continuing with subsequent evaluation.

2.  Step Two – Secondary Evaluation and Publication

a.  Prior to performing a secondary evaluation or negotiation regarding an unsolicited proposal, the City will publicize its, “Intent to Negotiate a Contract Offered by an Unsolicited Proposal” for a period of 30 days.  The purpose of such publication is to ascertain whether other parties have a desire and the ability to offer products and/or services similar to what is contemplated in the unsolicited proposal.  The City’s publication will give notice of the basic business elements of the unsolicited proposal and inform/invite the public that interested parties may inquire about, provide comments and/or express a statement that they can provide similar products and/or services to the City.  The publication will not disclose proprietary information from the unsolicited proposal.  If, based on the City’s publication, interest is expressed by other parties who also desire an opportunity to submit a proposal for similar products and/or services of those contemplated in the unsolicited proposal, then the City will withdraw its, “Intent to Negotiate a Contract Offered by an Unsolicited Proposal” and work with the City bureau to figure out whether or not the City will issue a competitive solicitation.

b.  If, based on review of inquiries, comments and/or expressions of interest from other, interested parties, the City determines that those other, interested parties are not offering equal products and/or services in a similar offer to that of the unsolicited proposal, the City reserves the right to continue in the process and enter into negotiations with the Offeror that submitted the unsolicited proposal.

c.  If no inquiries, comments and/or expressions of interest are received during the 30 day publication period, the City will continue the process and enter into negotiations with the Offeror that submitted the unsolicited proposal.

3.  Step Three – Negotiation

a.  Upon making a determination that an unsolicited proposal has merits to the City and that it meets all of the requirements contained herein, the Chief Procurement Officer will seek authorization from Council by an Ordinance to enter into negotiations with the Offeror of the unsolicited proposal regardless of the amount.

b.  The City reserves the right to require the submission of supplemental material or information that will assist the City in negotiating a final contract and in determining that the Offeror has the technical capability and financial resources to perform the contract as contemplated.

c.  An unsolicited proposal that results in a recommendation of the City that a contract be awarded is subject to all other applicable contract award and approval requirements.

F.  Use of Information

All unsolicited proposals submitted to the City are subject to the applicable public records laws.  Offerors are advised to familiarize themselves with the provisions of these laws.  If the Offeror has concerns about proprietary information that it would like to make available to the City, the Offeror may suggest for the City’s consideration, prior to submission of its unsolicited proposal, methods for safeguarding such information from disclosure consistent with applicable public records laws.  Nothing herein precludes the City from using any data, concepts or ideas, which it may have intended to use had the unsolicited proposal not been submitted.  Subject to this policy, any information submitted to the City shall be held in confidence until such time that the City accepts the unsolicited proposal and it becomes necessary to commence the contract award process.