Unsolicited proposals are projects proposed directly to government by private parties rather than in response to a request from government. Projects in NSW that have progressed from unsolicited proposals include the Crown Sydney Resort at Barangaroo, NorthConnex, and the partial lease of Ausgrid. Supporters claim that unsolicited proposals are a source of innovative ideas, and that they provide savings on tendering costs. Nevertheless, there remain concerns as to the level of transparency and public reporting on unsolicited proposals received by government, and a key issue is the circumstances in which it is appropriate for the Government to deal with a private party exclusively and without an open tender process.
This paper updates an August 2013 e-brief Unsolicited Proposals. It summarises the benefits and drawbacks of unsolicited proposals, outlines the most recent NSW unsolicited proposals guideline, and reports the findings of recent NSW Audit Office reviews. The paper also summarises guidelines in other Australian and international jurisdictions and provides references to media reports, stakeholder commentary, and academic literature.