The RFP Proposal/Bid Rejection Letter

Also known as: RFP proposal rejection letter, letter of non-responsibility, proposal rejection letter, letter of non-responsiveness, bidding rejection letter, refusal letter, bid rejection letter, refusal of bid letter, product or vendor refusal letter, bid refusal letter, letter of refusal, letter to reject a bid, letter to reject a proposal, solicitation rejection notice, letter of applicant rejection, rejected bids letter, business refusal letter, rejected RFP letter, rejected proposal letter, rejection note, rejection notification, product rejection letter, offer rejection, proposal rejection, offer refusal letter, proposal rejection letter, nonresponsibility letter, nonresponsiveness letter, non-responsibility letter, non-responsiveness letter, letter of rejection, offer rejection letter, RFP response letter, bid declination letter, rejected bid thank you letter, generic rejection letter, reject letter, non-responsive bid letter, bidder notification letter, non-responsive proposal letter, notice of rejection of proposal, declination letter of bid, notification of rejection letter, rejected bid thank you letter, declination of bid letter, effective bid rejection letter, rejection letters, no-thank-you letter, declination letter of proposal, rejection templates, declination of proposal letter, rejected bid letter, vendor bid rejection letter, or vendor rejection letter.

Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own proposal rejection letter.

The request for proposal (RFP) rejection letter is part of our FREE RFP Letters Toolkit.

An RFP rejection letter is sent to the prospective provider whose proposal has been rejected for very specific reasons that are explicitly exposed in the RFP rejection letter. In fact, it should be more accurately called RFP proposal or bid rejection letter since it is the proposal or bid that is rejected and not the RFP itself. In return, the provider whose bid or proposal has been rejected has the right to protest against that rejection by writing a protest letter.

You want to reject a bid or proposal? Fine, but don't slam the door at the provider's face. Instead, writing a rejection letter in a tactfully manner leaves that same door open for future business.

A complaint-proof rejection or refusal letter should:

  1. state and substantiate the reasons for rejection,
  2. inform the requester about his or her right to seek a review of the refusal determination process, and
  3. specify the procedures for requesting such a review.

It is highly recommended that you to read the suggestions below in order to properly and successfully use the RFP rejection letter.

  1. Use a formal letterhead and do not handwrite the RFP rejection letter. Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own rejection letter.
  2. First, your rejection letter should thank the person who submitted the proposal for the time, effort, and interest in the project related to the issued RFP.
  3. Next, state the reasons why the proposal was rejected. Be very specific regarding these reasons. You must explain why and how the proposal is non-responsive or the provider non-responsible. So what's the meaning of non-responsive? And the meaning of non-responsible?

    Definition of non-responsiveness:

    A non-responsive proposal would, for example, neglect to provide mandatory information or documents requested in the RFP.

    Definition of non-responsibility:

    A non-responsible provider, although supplying all necessary information, would, for example, not be able to fully satisfy requirements defined in the RFP or would be financially unstable or unable to complete the project in a timely manner.

    Elements of responsibility may include integrity, competency, capacity, capability, credit, financial status, and past performance.

    For instance, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), setting forth basic policies and procedures for proper acquisition by all federal agencies, specifies that, to be determined responsible, a prospective contractor must:

    1. Have adequate financial resources to perform the contract, or the ability to obtain them (see 9.104-3(a));
    2. Be able to comply with the required or proposed delivery or performance schedule, taking into consideration all existing commercial and governmental business commitments;
    3. Have a satisfactory performance record (see 9.104-3(b) and Subpart 42.15). A prospective contractor shall not be determined responsible or nonresponsible solely on the basis of a lack of relevant performance history, except as provided in 9.104-2;
    4. Have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics;
    5. Have the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills, or the ability to obtain them (including, as appropriate, such elements as production control procedures, property control systems, quality assurance measures, and safety programs applicable to materials to be produced or services to be performed by the prospective contractor and subcontractors). (See 9.104-3(a));
    6. Have the necessary production, construction, and technical equipment and facilities, or the ability to obtain them (see 9.104-3(a)); and
    7. Be otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations.

      (This is an excerpt of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, FAR § 9.104-1 - General standards on Responsible Prospective Contractor Qualifications)

    So, a prospective provider having a financial viability, a satisfactory performance record, and all needed resources (people, budget, time, and facilities), among other things, is likely to be deemed responsible. The opposite is not necessarily true (FAR § 9.104-1(c)). Furthermore, a prospective provider that has been seriously deficient in contract performance is likely to be presumed nonresponsible unless was demonstrated that corrective actions were taken. Determination of the provider's nonresponsibility may be based upon a reasonable perception of inadequate prior performance, even though the prior or current contract was not terminated for default.

    Documenting the reasons why a proposal is rejected is far more difficult than merely identifying the proposal as non-compliant. Spend the time needed to honestly and properly communicate the reasons for the rejection. The more specific, exhaustive, and honest the reasons for the rejection are, the more difficult it becomes for the provider to contest your decision to reject the proposal. 

  4. Keep in mind that the rejected provider has the right to formally contest your decision within a reasonable timeframe, as initially defined in the RFP. Therefore, do not sign any contract with another provider until the deadline to receive protests expires and rejection protests are settled.
  5. You are not required to unveil information about to whom the project was awarded. Nevertheless, if requested, you must provide all information except for trade secrets.
  6. Finally, close the letter formally with "sincerely" or a similar polite expression. Sign your name and title.
  7. Do not forget to send the rejection letter via certified mail
  8. Since things sometimes get a little more complicated than usual, remember to consult a lawyer for further information before doing anything.

Tips, templates, and samples of an RFP rejection letter


Learn tips on how to write a professional, very impressive, and bullet-proof RFP rejection letter or bid rejection letter in our FREE RFP Letters Toolkit.

You will find in it, amongst others, templates and samples of an RFP rejection letter.

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