Federal Contractors Should Request Debriefings As A Matter Of Course

Two contractors on white brick building, one pointing something out to other

Debriefings allow the Contractor to understand the evaluation process used by the Contracting Agency and to receive an assessment of how it fared in that evaluation.

May 30, 2018
Scott MacDonald - Ahlers Cressman & Sleight Blog

Federal Contractors—especially those engaging in FAR Part 15 direct contract negotiations—should make it a routine practice to timely request debriefings after the Contracting Agency excludes the bidder from the competitive range (“pre-award debriefing”) or after the Agency issues the award (“post-award debriefing”). Debriefings allow the Contractor to understand the evaluation process used by the Contracting Agency and to receive an assessment of how it fared in that evaluation. This is not a one-sided presentation as Contracting Agencies are required to answer the contractor’s relevant questions about the decision-making process. Properly run debriefings can be used to better tailor future bids and negotiations, as further marketing to the Contracting Agency for future awards, and, occasionally, to unearth grounds for a potential protest if any part of the evaluation process is out of sync with the FARs. In the event the contractor learns of a basis for protest at the debriefing, the deadline to file a protest begins running from the date of the debriefing—whether it was required or not.

Mr. MacDonald may be contacted at scott.macdonald@acslawyers.com



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