Debriefings provide disappointed offerors an invaluable opportunity to hear from agencies directly as to why contract award decisions came out the way they did. Debriefings can also extend the deadlines to file a timely protest in the Government Accountability Office and to file a protest entitled to an automatic stay of the awarded contract’s performance under the Competition in Contracting Act. But debriefings are not without their traps for the unwary. The Federal Acquisition Regulation sets forth specific rules as to when and how a debriefing must be requested, as well as when and how the aforementioned deadline extensions are triggered. These rules continue to evolve, with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 representing a significant example of recent changes to the debriefing process. Failure to abide by the regulatory scheme governing debriefings could mean not only losing the right to be debriefed but forfeiting rights to protest and obtain an automatic stay of performance.
For more information about debriefings, check out my article in the Winter 2022 Volume of The Procurement Lawyer, available here. This article discusses the law governing debriefings and offers 10 tips on what counsel and contractors should do to get the most out of debriefings and avoid jeopardizing protest rights. Do not hesitate to contact your Sheppard Mullin attorney for additional information about debriefings and what they could mean for you and your business.