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Debriefings-The Information Offerors are Entitled (and not Entitled)

I have previously mentioned “Lessons Learned” under “Business Development Quick Tips and Reminders”, which is essentially an internal debriefing. Therefore, in this blog I am covering external debriefings, aka debriefings with the Government, FAR 15.506. Regardless of whether you win or lose, I recommend requesting a debriefing with the Government. If you lose, you can obtain valuable information about how to be more competitive either technically and/or economically the next time. Plus, if the Government opts for an oral debriefing, you get face time with the Contracting Officer and any other Government officials that are present. If you win, you can still learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal from the Government’s perspective. Equally vital is sharing the information and communicating with everyone who worked on the proposal from the Administrative Staff to the VP and everyone in-between. This reinforces that each and every person is important and makes the team more cohesive for future proposals.

To obtain a debriefing, the offeror shall put the request in writing within 3 days of when offeror received notification of source selection. If the request is received after 3 days, the debriefing is up to the Contracting Officer’s discretion.

What Offerors are Entitled to:

1. A debriefing within 5 days after receipt of the request, if reasonably practical.
2. A debriefing in writing, orally, or by any other method acceptable to the Contracting Officer.
3. Significant weaknesses in the Offeror’s proposal as determined by the Government.
4, Overall technical rating and price of the Successful Offeror.
5. Overall ranking of all Offerors.
6. Summary of rationale for award.
7. Make and model of commercial items, if any, to be delivered by Awardee.

What Offerors are Not Entitled to:

1. Point by point comparisons to other Offeror’s proposals.
2. Trade secrets or other confidential manufacturing processes or techniques.
3. Financial proprietary information including indirect rates from other Offerors.
4. Names of individuals providing reference information on Offeror’s past performance.

To view this FAR clause in its entirety, go to 15.506.
For the complete FAR, go to Federal Acquisition Regulations


Business Development: Tips, Tools, and Reminders

1. What does a 60% Probability of Award (POA) mean?
Many companies use a Probability of Award (POA) to prioritize and select the solicitations they bid on as well as for financial forecasting purposes. However, what does a 60% POA mean? Is it high or low? When doing a SWOT analysis, how many “weaknesses” can be identified and still be considered a likely or probable win? What is the difference between a 60% POA and a 40% POA? Of course, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer as long as (1) the POA scales are consistent within an organization and (2) makes common sense. This is especially important when it’s used for forecasting purposes and making financial decisions.

2. Are your Business Development employees’ compensation aligned with the company’s financial goals?
One can reasonably argue that Business Development (BD) employees currently have the toughest job in the Federal Government Contracting market. Moreover, most people would agree that they should be compensated for their successes. However, compensation should also align with the company’s financial goals. Many companies highly compensate BD employees for winning Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQs) and/or Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) and little for the task orders under the IDIQs or GWACs. While I agree that BD employees should get compensated for all successes, it is important to remember that the IDIQ or GWAC, even if it has a contract value of $500 million, could easily result in $0. Meanwhile, the task order may only be $100,000, however it’s $100,000 closer to helping meet the company’s goal.

Contact Streamline Government Contracts to debrief and prepare for the next bid.


This blog is for informational purposes only. None of the content is, or will be deemed to constitute legal opinions or legal advice.