Alternate Offers

Per Integrated Policy Memorandum No. 97-0011 an Alternate Offer (AO) is an offer, under an active solicitation, to provide an item, which is from other than an approved source and/or is not the exact part numbered item cited in the Acquisition Identification Description (AID). To be approved, the alternate offeror's product must be identical to, or be physically, mechanically, electrically, and functionally interchangeable with, the product cited in the AID.

An Alternate Offer should not be confused with a Source Approval Request (SAR). A SAR is a manufacturer's proposal supplemented by data that includes all of the Engineering Support Activity (ESA) data required for a competent manufacturer to produce an item that is equal to or better than the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) designed part. SARs may also be referred to as "unsolicited" alternate offers because there is no open requirement.

Detailed information on Alternate Offer and Source Approval Request technical data package submission can be found in the Source Approval Request section of the Value Management page.

Suppliers should submit alternate offers in response to a solicitation or open purchase request directly to the assigned contracting officer. Suppliers must submit a valid quote along with the complete technical data package to the buyer.  An economic analysis of alternate offers will be performed and the contractor will be notified of the results. The integrity of the alternate offer review process followed in each commodity/application group is monitored to ensure a quality review has been performed.

Note – Unsolicited alternate offer/SAR packages may be submitted for future procurement requirements consideration to the Alternate Offer Monitor at without waiting for an active Solicitation to be released.  

Please be aware that 80% of Alternate Offer and Source Approval Request packages fail for the following reasons:

  • Not economically feasible due to low annual demand (see Supplier Requirements Visibility Application (SRVA) for estimated forecasting requirements)
  • Contractor failed to provide qualification item data and drawings (OEM)
  • Drawing approval signature blocks not signed and dated
  • Test Plan not provided (see DI-NDTI-80809B for an example test plan)
  • Drawings not included