The Government of South Australia’s default position is to request business proposals via an existing procurement, tender or market-based process to ensure that the best value for money solution can be competitively identified. However, Government also recognises that there may be circumstances where it is beneficial in dealing exclusively with one party and therefore welcomes unsolicited proposals to help identify new and innovative ways to deliver on its economic, social and environmental priorities and maximise job creation opportunities for South Australians.
Government may, at its absolute discretion, negotiate with a party that presents an unsolicited proposal where it considers it is appropriate and the proposal meets the criteria. A party or entity that submits an unsolicited proposal is referred to as a ‘proponent’.
What is an unsolicited proposal?
An unsolicited proposal is when a proponent approaches Government with a proposal that has not been formally requested and which does not fit into an existing process. Unsolicited proposals can cover a broad range of activities and may seek:
- delivery of services to or on behalf of Government;
- provision of infrastructure development;
- access, lease or purchase of Government assets or land; or
- financial, regulatory or other Government support to undertake a specific activity.
Unsolicited proposals submitted to the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) may include a request for funding or access, lease or purchase of assets or land owned by the Minister for Environment and Water (e.g. Crown or national park land) or under the care, control and management of a Crown agency.
Depending on the nature of the unsolicited proposal and its project value to Government, proposals will generally be assessed and managed by DEW or the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) in accordance with the following thresholds:
Project value with Government*
|Proposals with infrastructure||Proposals without infrastructure|
|Less than $1 million||DEW||DEW|
|$1 million to $3 million||DEW||DTF|
|More than $3 million||DTF||DTF|
* Please note that these thresholds refer to the estimated value of the project’s transaction with Government rather than the total project cost.
Who can submit an unsolicited proposal?
Any non-government entity can lodge an unsolicited proposal to Government, for example a business, not-for-profit organisation, consortium or individual.
Proposals submitted by local government (councils) are not considered ‘unsolicited proposals’ as they are not a private entity and are therefore outside of the scope of the unsolicited proposals process.
How do I lodge an unsolicited proposal?
DEW encourages proponents to:
- Read the DTF Guidelines for Assessment of Unsolicited Proposals;
- Read the DEW Unsolicited Proposals Information for Proponents and application form;
- Email the DEW Unsolicited Proposals mailbox to make arrangements to discuss your proposal concept prior to lodgement. This will assist in identifying whether the proposal meets the definition of an unsolicited proposal and whether it should be lodged with DEW or DTF. DEW may also recommend conducting a pre-lodgement meeting to discuss any other information or requirements prior to you committing significant resources to the development of your proposal;
- If the proposal meets the definition of a DEW unsolicited proposal, complete the application form and email it with any supporting attachments to the DEW Unsolicited Proposals mailbox; and
- Retain copies of your completed application for your records.
DEW will acknowledge receipt of your enquiry or application within two (2) business days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, or you require further information or assistance, please contact:
DEW Unsolicited Proposals Executive Officer
Phone: (08) 8124 4066
Will I have to pay any fees or charges?
Proponents will not be charged fees to lodge an unsolicited proposal or have it assessed by DEW. However, if the proposal results in a transaction that would incur a regulated fee or charge, these will be applicable at the time of the relevant transaction (e.g. lease application and preparation regulated fees).
DEW can assist with the identification of fees and charges, however it is ultimately your responsibility to be aware of and account for any regulatory fees and charges that may apply.
How will my unsolicited proposal be assessed?
In order for DEW to enter into exclusive negotiations with a proponent, the unsolicited proposal must satisfactorily meet the following five criteria:
- No competing proposals;
- Community need and DEW/Government priority;
- Uniqueness of the proposal;
- Value for money; and
- Capacity and capability of the proponent.
The proposal must also be viable under relevant legislation or policy.