Govt announces USP Policy to promote private sector involvement

The President's Office on Monday publicized an Unsolicited Proposals Policy (USP Policy) that would allow private sector companies to pitch their proposals for government projects before bid announcements are made.

According to the USP Policy gazetted on Monday, the purpose of the policy is to promote public sector participation in the country's development.

An Unsolicited proposal is a written application for a new or innovative idea submitted to an agency on the initiative of the offeror for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the government, and is not in response to a request for proposal or any other Government-initiated solicitation or program.

Under the policy, work under foreign assisted projects and projects funded by concessional loans as well as projects of the government's choice may be outsourced to companies of the president's choice on the advisement of the cabinet without a bid announcement.

The interested parties will be assessed for their financial and technical capabilities and expertise before being awarded the project.

The USP Policy aims to harness private-sector innovation and capabilities in the delivery of strategic projects of the government, while protecting public-policy objectives and intellectual property rights, encouraging competition, and ensuring transparency and accountability, said the President's Office.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's predecessor, Yameen Abdul Gayyoom also implemented a USP policy during his rule. However, the policy was not well received by the public at the time.