46 CFR § 385.35 - Program opportunity notices.
(a) A program opportunity notice can be used to stimulate the flow of unsolicited proposals or applications when the program objectives cannot be defined sufficiently to prepare a program solicitation.
(b) The program opportunity notice will contain the following, at a minimum:
(1) A number assigned for control and reference purposes;
(2) A brief description of the broad, general technical program or areas needing investigation (generally 50 words or less);
(3) A statement of the principal program objective in possibly funding unsolicited proposals as either:
(i) The acquisition of concepts, property, or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government; or
(ii) The transfer of money, property, or services to a recipient for support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute;
(4) A statement about how unsolicited proposals will be evaluated and accepted:
(i) If the principal program objective is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation, the criteria in §§ 385.50 through 385.52 shall be applied;
(ii) If the principal program objective is the acquisition of concepts, property, or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal Government (i.e., procurement), the policy regarding evaluation and acceptance of unsolicited proposals in 41 CFR 9-4.9 shall apply;
(5) Restrictions, if any, as to who may submit proposals;
(6) A contact where additional information may be obtained;
(7) An expiration date which identifies when the program opportunity notice will no longer be current. This date shall not be used as a required common due date for submission of proposals;
(8) A statement that MarAd reserves the right to support or not support, in whole or in part, any or all proposals received;
(9) A statement that MarAd assumes no responsibility for any costs associated with specific proposal preparation if no award is made; but that if an award is made, MarAd will pay its allocable share of bid and proposal expenses as provided for in applicable Federal cost principles;
(10) A statement that proposals submitted pursuant to the notice shall be mailed to the Awards Officer (M-900), Maritime Administration, Room 4885, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590.
(12) As much information as possible as to how proposals and applications will be evaluated;
(13) Policies and procedures for patents, data, and copyrights. Proposers have the right to request in advance of or within thirty (30) days after the effective date of award a waiver of all or any part of the United States rights in subject inventions.
(c) The program opportunity notice shall be in a format that best reflects the needs of the specific program, for example, letter, booklet, bulletin, or other documents.
(d) The program opportunity notice shall be distributed widely. It may be distributed to industry associations, including small business associations; schools, colleges, and universities; appropriate professional and scientific journals; state, local, and regional governmental organizations; the Commerce Business Daily; other MarAd offices; and individuals and organizations who request copies on a one-time basis.
(e) The submission of innovative methods, approaches or ideas will not be restricted to those problems or technical areas published in the program opportunity notice. Alternatives will be eligible for consideration.