Stage 2: Detailed proposal

About this stage

stage 2 detailed proposal

If a proposal is approved to move to Stage 2: Detailed proposal the government will grant the proponent an exclusive mandate. At this stage of the MLP process an exclusive mandate means that for the duration of Stage 2 (and Stage 3 if the proposal proceeds to Stage 3), it will engage with no other proponents on a comparable proposal. This means that a proponent can confidently invest time and money in developing their proposal.

In most cases once a project has reached Stage 2: Detailed proposal and a proponent has the protection of an exclusive mandate arrangement with the government, the government will publicly announce that it has entered into an exclusive arrangement with the proponent.

The objective of the detailed proposal stage is for the proponent to demonstrate conclusively how their proposal satisfies the MLP criteria (and any other relevant matters raised by government). The effort required at this stage from the proponent is equivalent to preparing a detailed bid during a competitive tender process.

Before starting work on the government will give the proponent clarity about what is required of them. The agreement is likely to include:

  • the terms of the exclusive mandate, including when the detailed proposal must be submitted (the length of time the exclusive mandate applies), define the terms of exclusivity, outline how the government will engage with the proponent during this period and other relevant key terms
  • the information and format the detailed proposal must take, including the nature and level of detail required by the government to inform the assessment process
  • the criteria that will be used to assess the detailed proposal. This will include the MLP criteria but may also include additional criteria relevant to the proposal
  • the terms for recovery of the government’s assessment costs from the proponent
  • confidentiality, communication and probity protocols.

Who is involved

A government project team is established at this stage along with a project board to oversee the Stage 2 process. The project team and project board comprise key stakeholders from across government to ensure that there continues to be a holistic government approach to consideration of the proposal.

The project team will work with the proponent to guide and facilitate the development of the proposal. Advice may include providing guidance about meeting the government’s criteria, investigating what legislative/regulatory changes may be required and coordinating the government’s approach.

When the proponent submits the detailed proposal, the project team will evaluate it and make recommendations to the project board.

The MLP panel will continue to have oversight of the process during Stages 2 and 3.

A brief will then be submitted to the government for its consideration.

Likely outcomes

The project board will consider the detailed proposal and make a recommendation to relevant ministers that:

  • the proposal is suitable to proceed to Stage 3: Final binding contract, subject to any specific terms to be agreed with the government
  • the proposal has not met the MLP and/or other criteria set out by government and is not suitable to proceed


  • the proposal has not met the MLP and/or other criteria set out by government but the concept is attractive and a competitive bidding process is recommended which the proponent can participate in.

Where a market-led proposal does not proceed to Stage 3: Final binding contract and instead an alternative process is undertaken (e.g. competitive bidding process) the government will not disclose or use any genuine intellectual property provided by a proponent other than with the consent of the proponent. Legal and probity advice will be sought to ensure a proponent’s intellectual property is not compromised. More information about how the government protects intellectual property is available.

Next: Stage 3 - Final binding contract.