Keys to a Successful Federal Debriefing Part 2
Our Jacksonville construction lawyers understand that having a proposal rejected is a normal part of working in the construction industry. Although it stings to miss out on what you feel is an incredible opportunity, we know that contractors can learn a lot from the experience especially if you’re thinking about protesting the bid. The first thing you have to do is request a debriefing.
In the first part of our article series, we shared two ways offerors can have a successful debriefing. In this final article, we will discuss the importance of being prepared for a debriefing and understanding what an agency can and can’t disclose during a debriefing.
As Jacksonville construction lawyers, we can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared for a debriefing. Preparation begins with a thorough understanding of FAR Subsection 15.5. These provisions, along with the RFP, the notice of exclusion or Notice of Award, and other evaluation criteria should be reviewed thoroughly. We also advise selecting one or two of your team members to take with you for extensive note taking during the debriefing presentation. Additionally, offerors should conduct a mock debriefing session and have written questions prepared and sent to the agency before the debriefing.
Knowing What’s Prohibited
The agency is prohibited from disclosing some information. This will vary depending on the type of debriefing. For Pre-award debriefings, the agency will not share the information of other offerors or how many offerors participated. This includes their identity, what’s in their proposal, how their proposal was evaluated, or how their proposal ranked.
In post-award briefings, the agency must abide by the Freedom of Information Act which specifies how public information is to be handled. The agency may not share detailed comparisons of any offeror’s proposal, trade secrets, confidential processes and techniques, or commercial and financial information. Additionally, the agency is prohibited from releasing the identity of individuals that provide reference information about offerors.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.