Unsolicited Proposal Program

Home > Unsolicited Proposal Program

Unsolicited Proposal Program

Share your ideas with us

Through the Unsolicited Proposal Program, we welcome ideas which address some of our community’s biggest challenges. We are looking to connect and work with people and organizations who care about their community and who offer solutions that will deliver real value and public benefit.

If you are thinking about sharing your idea with the City:

Share your idea

Unsolicited Proposal Program Q & A
What is an unsolicited proposal?

Unsolicited proposals are independently generated by a proponent who is at arms’ length from the City and are provided to the City without an invitation of opportunity being made. The proposals may include new or unique ideas or products that have not been tested in the market. In order to justify consideration of the potential of departing from the usual competitive processes, unsolicited proposals need to be strongly aligned with City priorities and objectives, and clearly identify public benefit and value.

What should I do before submitting my idea?
How do I submit my idea?
  • All proposals start with our online intake form. This is where you provide an overview of your idea and answer some key questions about how your idea aligns with the important priorities that the City can tackle with your help.
  • The online intake form cannot be saved while it is being prepared. We suggest you use the worksheet in Schedule 2: Worksheet for Intake Form of these guidelines to prepare a separate document, and then copy and paste your information 
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your idea within three business days and may follow up  for clarification or additional information, if needed.
What are the evaluation criteria?

The evaluation criteria for the first stage of the UPP process assess whether the idea:

  • Is unique and innovative
  • Is aligned with City priorities
  • Provides value for money
  • Meets a need
  • Is feasible

Criteria are weighted and a proposal must achieve a score of at least 65% to be considered for the second stage. Criteria in the second stage may be similar to the first stage criteria or adjusted depending on the nature of the proposal.

Why might I submit an idea that could end up in an open competitive bidding process?

A primary objective of the Leading UPP process is to tap into new ideas to improve the City’s delivery of important services to the community. Incubating and implementing new ideas with new resources is an innovation-based approach, but it doesn’t relieve the City of its responsibility to be fair and transparent about who it is working with and the value or public benefit that will result. The City is accountable to citizens far into the future and sometimes the best way to be accountable is to use a public competitive process.

If your proposal moves into a competitive procurement process, you’ll have equal access to participate in the process.

How do I find out what the City is already working on so that my idea won’t be something that the City is already doing?

Like all municipal governments, the City of Kelowna has many lines of business. In addition to its day-to-day operations, the City undertakes corporate and departmental planning processes which set out annual and multi-year priorities. At any given time, there are literally hundreds of initiatives underway. The best way to prepare a unique proposal is to learn more about what the City is already working on and identify ways that you can assist by presenting a new solution or adding value. Here are some key planning documents and reports:

What if I have a good idea that I want to share with the City but it doesn’t fit with the UPP criteria?
What are the most common mistakes with UPP submissions and how can I avoid them?
  • Insufficient alignment or value - Establishing or expanding a business is an important part of the local economy, but if the business activity doesn’t deliver a public benefit or isn’t aligned with an identified City priority or need, it’s not going to be a fit with the UPP. The program is all about solutions which offer a win-win for the proponent and the City.
  • Lack of clarity - We’re looking for factual statements, not persuasion. Avoid promotional language, technical jargon and vague promises. We really like Seth Godin’s advice for ‘The modern business plan’ containing five types of information: Truth, Assertions, Alternatives, People and Money.
  • Duplicates efforts - Do your research to verify that your idea doesn’t duplicate something the City is already doing. Build some knowledge about what matters to the City and the community. When you dig into our Open Data results reporting, we think you will be impressed by the breadth and depth of City activity. But we’re humble enough to admit that we don’t have all the answers and that’s where you come in.
  • Not feasible / too risky – There may be financial, political or legal risks within your concept that are too big to overcome. Or there isn’t enough information to establish confidence about your team’s track record and capacity to deliver success. Think about how you can strike a balance between risk and reward that makes it easier for the City to say ‘yes’ to working with you.
How do I get help from City staff?

We respect you, your ideas, your time and the effort you put into your proposals. That’s why it’s important to maintain the integrity of the UPP process by ensuring that all proposals are handled in a consistent, fair and transparent way. Submissions need to be independently prepared and free of any influence, endorsement or supervision from City staff.

We can:

  • answer your questions about the program and help you understand how your proposal might fit within the program objectives and criteria
  • connect you with City information resources relevant to your proposal
  • keep you updated as your proposal moves through the intake and review process
  • provide a follow up briefing at the conclusion of the review process

We cannot:

  • assist with preparation or review of your intake form or any other documentation
  • adjust or forego program requirements
  • meet with you or assist if your proposal is selected for a public procurement process
  • speak directly with any elected representative about your idea
  • unilaterally approve or reject a proposal without consulting impacted departments
  • share information about other proponents or proposals
Should I ask the Mayor and members of City Council to support my idea?


UPP proposals are evaluated by staff and subject matter experts using the published program criteria and process. If the evaluation is favourable, some ideas may move into implementation without the need for Council approval. However, if Council approval is required, staff will prepare a report with recommendations for consideration by Council during a Council meeting.

Section 4.3 of the program guide states that all communication about a proposal is to go through the Partnership Office and that the City may discontinue consideration of a proposal if a proponent attempts to influence the process through other channels.

Why do you require identification of any confidential or proprietary information included in my proposal?

Unsolicited proposals received by the City are considered public records and are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The City may receive an information request and would be required to disclose information unless it meets one of the non-disclosure exemptions in the Act. Additionally, if your proposal becomes the subject of a public procurement process, confidential or proprietary information cannot be used in the process or in negotiations with another proponent without your consent.

I submitted a proposal and have been notified that the City has decided not to proceed. What are my options?
  • Set up a meeting with Partnership office staff who can provide you with a general explanation of the reasons for the decision. We may also refer you to alternative programs or opportunities.
  • After meeting with us, you may opt to resubmit your proposal, but it must be substantially different from the previous version to warrant reconsideration.
  • The City has sole discretion to determine whether it will proceed with a proposal.
I submitted a proposal but I have changed my mind and no longer wish to proceed. Can I withdraw my proposal?

A proponent can withdraw a proposal at any time during the review process by providing a written notice of withdrawal.