Here in Kansas, it is certainly starting to feel like thunderstorm season–and one of my favorite seasons, I might add. But over in D.C., some may say it is starting to feel like protest season! That said, anyone familiar with the protest process at D.C.’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) is probably also quite familiar with the strict timeliness rules GAO applies to such protests. And frankly, even for the seasoned GAO protesters, a refresher on the timeliness rules can be quite beneficial–especially given the answer to when a certain type of protest is due is not always an easy calculation. So, let’s take it back to the basics and run through some of those rules here.Continue reading
Tag Archives: post-award debriefings
Back to Basics: Debriefings
Debriefings are a crucial part of the complicated world of bidding on Government contracts. They can provide wonderful insight to contractors on where they can improve, where their proposals were strong, and in cases, may provide information that could indicate to a contractor that a bid protest may be warranted. Therefore, it is vitally important for contractors to understand what Debriefings are, what they can and can’t provide you, and why they matter. Previously, we here at SmallGovCon discussed 5 things you should know about Debriefings, but in this post we will do a more detailed dive into Debriefings based on the current regulations and contracting landscape.Continue reading
DoD Proposes DFARS Amendment to Enhance Debriefings
Receiving a notice that a competitor received an award can be a punch to the gut. This feeling is compounded when the requested debriefing is short on details. Offerors are normally left with more questions than answers.
The DoD has proposed to amend the DFARS to enhance debriefings in certain procurements. The correct amount of information in a debriefing is an ever-moving target; hopefully, this new proposed amendment will be a step in the right direction.Continue reading
GAO Dismisses Challenge to Brief Explanation of Award
Depending on the type of procurement, an agency will often provide either a brief explanation or debriefing after an award is made. But those explanations are difficult to challenge, as a recent GAO decision confirmed.
In the decision, GAO dismissed a protester’s challenge to the sufficiency of a two-paragraph explanation. Protester failed to show competitive prejudice or regulatory deficiency in the explanation. Since the protester could not demonstrate either of these conditions resulted from the explanation, GAO dismissed these allegations.
When protesting to GAO after receiving a brief explanation, what do you need to know in order to get your foot in the door? Let’s take a look.
Draft 2020 NDAA Changes Mandatory DoD Debriefings and Permanently Authorizes DoD Mentor-Protégé Program
On June 11, the House Armed Services Committee published its draft of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was updated June 19. Among other proposed sections impacting small business contractors which will be discussed in future blog posts, the draft reduces the monetary threshold for comprehensive Department of Defense debriefings and renews the DoD’s Mentor-Protégé Program.Continue reading
Option to “Postpone” Required Pre-Award Debriefing Until After Award—Gain Information, But Lose Right to Protest
GAO’s bid protest window for debriefings—which closes 10 days after the required debriefing—knows very few exceptions. But what if the agency offers you a more informative post-award debriefing in place of the pre-award debriefing normally required upon your elimination from the competitive range? This option will likely improve your ability to compete for future contracts with the agency. Shouldn’t you be able to accept it without giving up your right to protest? GAO says no.Continue reading
DoD Immediately Implements Portion of Enhanced Debriefing Requirements
The DoD has issued a class deviation to immediately implement part of the the enhanced debriefing requirements mandated by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
In a class deviation issued on March 22, 2018, the DoD says that, effective immediately, contracting officers must comply with new requirements allowing unsuccessful offerors to submit questions–and postponing the ticking of the “protest clock” until after answers are received. But the class deviation doesn’t fully implement the 2018 NDAA’s enhanced debriefing requirements; the portion of the statute calling for the disclosure of redacted source selection information is not addressed.