request for proposals (RFP)

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Document used in sealed-bid procurement procedures through which a purchaser advises the potential suppliers of (1) statement and scope of work, (2) specifications, (3) schedules or timelines, (4) contract type, (5) data requirements, (6) terms and conditions, (7) description of goods and/or services to be procured, (8) general criteria used in evaluation procedure, (9) special contractual requirements, (10) technical goals, (11) instructions for preparation of technical, management, and/or cost proposals. RFPs are publicly advertised and suppliers respond with a detailed proposal, not with only a price quotation.
They provide for negotiations after sealed proposals are opened, and the award of contract may not necessarily go to the lowest bidder. See also invitation to bid (ITB), request for tenders, and request for quotations.

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