A few weeks ago, we touched on the subject of the preaward debrief and what you should do if you find yourself knocked out of contention on a bid early. In this post, we are going to explore the antithesis of the preaward debrief, the postaward debrief and explain the differences between the two.
To recap, a preaward debriefing occurs when your proposal has been rejected in the early stages of an agency’s bidding process. Requesting a preaward debriefing typically takes place before an offer is extended to the winning proposer. You have the ability to postpone the debriefing until after the contract has been awarded.
A postaward debrief takes place once a contract has been extended. The request for a debrief should be submitted in writing within three days of the contract award, and take place within 5 days of the contract officer receiving the request. Please note that if a late request is received by the contracting officer they have within their discretion the right to deny a request for a debriefing, so be punctual for best results.
A debriefing will not include a point-by-point comparisons of your proposal with those of other offerors. The debriefing will not reveal any information prohibited from disclosure by 24.202 or exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) including:
A postaward debriefing, similar to a preaward debriefing is a critical opportunity to identify areas of improvement and continue to find ways to win more government contracts.
One last point to keep in mind about a postaward debrief. You should request one if you won the contract as well. Take this opportunity to find out what exactly the agency saw as your leading strength, and what made them choose you. These answers may surprise you, and having this information before the contract starts helps you focus on the areas that you know the agency deems important. This valuable information may also help you refine your proposal process and help you win more government contracts in the future.