The PPEA process can be initiated in two ways. An agency may issue a solicitation for PPEA proposals, like a traditional RFP, or an agency may receive an unsolicited proposal (see subsection 10.23 above) where a private entity submits a proposal not in response to a solicitation or notice. When an agency is considering issuing a notice for solicited proposals, it must first make a determination that it reasonably expects the PPEA process to be more beneficial than traditional procurement processes under the VPPA. A public notice soliciting PPEA proposals must allow for at least forty-five (45) days for proposals to be submitted. Notice must be posted on eVA.
If an agency receives an unsolicited PPEA proposal, it must make a threshold decision as to whether the proposal fits with the agency's business objectives and should be pursued. If the agency decides to accept the unsolicited PPEA proposal, it must post a public notice for at least forty-five (45) days which details the subject matter of the proposal and requests that competing proposals be submitted. Notice must be posted on eVA. If the agency decides not to accept the unsolicited PPEA proposal, the agency should return the proposal to the private entity.
The PPEA may be a useful tool to achieve certain objectives but it is just another procurement method. Most PPEA proposals involve costly, high profile projects so it is imperative that agencies closely follow the PPEA procurement procedures to ensure a fair competitive process.