Thursday, February 15, 2018

Enhanced Debriefings

One feature of the 2018 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) is a requirement that DOD provide additional information to contractors competing for contracts. For contracts greater than $100 million, the Government must provide a redacted version of the Agency's written source selection award decision. For contracts between $10 and $100 million, small businesses and nontraditional contractors are allowed to request redacted versions of the source selection decision.

Perhaps the most significant change to the debriefing rules is the question and answer period. The new rules will provide an opportunity for unsuccessful offerors to submit additional follow-up questions within two days of the post-award debriefing. The agency then, must answer these questions, in writing, within five business days.

So why is this important? Because it extends the time available for an unsuccessful offeror to appeal the award. After a debriefing, an unsuccessful offeror has five days to file a bid protest with the GAO (Government Accountability Office). Now that there's a question and answer period (two days to submit questions and five days to provide answers), that period could potentially double to ten days or longer. This is because a debriefing is not considered finished until the day the agency delivers its written responses. Seven extra days is significant for contractors considering whether to appeal an award.

Refer to FAR 15.505 and 15.506 for more information on debriefing requirements.

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