Contracting officers should provide open, transparent, and honest assessments such that industry knows exactly why it lost, and lowers opportunities for protests.
Provide as much information as possible in the debrief.
Cindy Brockwell commented
GSA Schedule awards provide different requirements for debriefs than outside schedule buys. I would like to see the government provide a de-brief to any bidder regardless of the procurement method. It benefits both parties to conduct these sessions and provides contractors a means to improve their next round of proposals or bids for the same work which ultimately benefits the government also. There can also be misinformation with "word of mouth" discussions among the evaluators causing a vendor to receive a lower score. Documentation and discussions help avoid issues such as protests.
This is a no brainer. As a CO I always provided as much information as I could to unsuccessful vendors. This included a detailed analysis of their proposaI and described the things that made the winning proposal superior to theirs. I anticipated the debrief requests by providing this information with the award notification. If you are reticent or supply as little information as you can get away with, the implication is that you are trying to hide something. The only way a vendor can determine if this is so, or to find out why they were not selected is a protest. Be upfront, give all the information you can, and answer questions. This breeds improved relations with industry and lowers the risk of protest.
Jaime Gracia commented
Debriefs require effort to allow for open and honest communications. They are treated as a burden, with the minimum level of effort and with little value and quality. Plenty of time is provided leading up to contract award to make the preparations for notifying offerors who were not selected, along with providing them substantive information on why they did not win. It is not a matter that they are not being done, but being done poorly and with as little information as possible by procurement officials that can't wait to get off the phone or who can not, or do not want to answers questions.
Guidance is needed on best practices for debriefs, along with the information on the process and selection decision. It is this lack of transparency that industry leverages as a primary driver and reasoning for protesting an award decision.
I don't know why this is getting so many votes...COs offer debriefs if requested.
Agency protest protection is covered by diligent work prior to solicitation - a proper debrief should not trigger protests.
FAR states that you request for a debrief within 3 days of an award and you get one.
Problem is, FAR says they have 5 days to respond. Maybe that's just not enough time to prepare a quality debrief...
Cindy Brockwell commented
The debrief process is important for industry to understand how they can better improve their bids and proposals next go around, with this and other agencies. It is seen by agencies as a mechanism to establish grounds for protest. Should that occur on a regular basis, perhaps the agency should look at their procurement process to ensure it isn't open to protest and not prohibit industry from seeking and obtaining valid and meaningful feedback.