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Did You Know This About Debriefings?


The Federal government spends roughly $560 billion annually on the acquisition of goods and services.  This requires the government to rely heavily on the commercial sector to meet this demand, and makes dialogue between government and industry extremely critical. Opportunities exist throughout the acquisition process for government and industry to strengthen its partnership; however few are more evident than when the government conducts debriefings.   Debriefings engender prospects for a stronger, more dynamic supplier base for immediate and future work. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (15.505 and 15.506) encourages open and transparent communication with industry throughout the acquisition process.  In addition, OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy further encourages agencies to establish and foster early and consistent engagement with industry through its Myth-busing Memorandums. This post will detail what a successful debrief should accomplish and describe the differences between a pre or post-soliciation debriefing. 


Let’s begin with the basics, what is a debriefing?

Simply put, it is a communication tool used to share, obtain or exchange information relating to assessment of a proposal. Debriefings provide an opportunity to improve knowledge, skills and performance when conducted properly. 

A successful debrief should:

  • Positively impact the quality of the offeror’s future proposals by offering meaningful feedback
  • Facilitate a clear understanding of the evaluation process and basis for selection decision
  • Demonstrate that the government has followed the proper procedure, and conducted the acquisition in a fair and objective manner
  • Obtain feedback from the offeror of their views and suggestions for improving the acquisition process for the current procurement


Differences between Pre and Post-Award Debriefings

Post-Award Debrief Information

What is the expected outcome?

Improvements and greater successes with solicitation development and proposal submissions. Improving best practices for future procurements makes the job of the acquisition workforce easier and decreases the cost to the American taxpayer.

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