Offerors may request a postaward debriefing after the contracting officer has awarded a contract to another offeror. Postaward debriefing requests must be:
- Submitted to the contracting officer in writing, AND
- Within three days of the requesting offeror receiving notification of the contract award.
The contracting officer should hold the debriefing within five days of receiving the offeror’s written request for a debriefing. If the requesting offeror does not meet the three-day deadline for filing a request, a contracting officer may still hold a postaward debriefing. However, the decision to hold a postaward debriefing for late debriefing requests is left to the contracting officer’s discretion. If the contracting officer decides to accommodate a late request, the debriefing does not automatically extend the deadlines for filing a protest.
It is up to the contracting officer to decide how the debriefing will take place. It can be done orally, in writing, or by any other method that the contracting officer thinks is acceptable. Whatever method the contracting officer chooses, the debriefing must include all of the following:
- The Government’s evaluation of the weaknesses or deficiencies of the debriefed offeror’s proposal
- The cost or price and technical rating of the successful offeror and the debriefed offeror
- Past performance information of the debriefed offeror
- The rankings of all offerors
- A summary of the contracting officer’s rationale for making the award to the winning offeror
- For commercial item awards, the make and model of the successful offeror’s item
- Answers to the debriefed offeror’s questions about whether the contracting officer followed the procedures contained in the solicitation, applicable regulations, and other applicable authorities.
The debriefing may not, however, include a point-by-point comparison of the debriefed offeror and other offerors. Additionally, the debriefing may not include any information regarding things such as trade secrets or confidential manufacturing techniques.