The FAR Council recently issued a new proposed DFARS rule (DFARS Case 2018-D009) that will, if finalized, strengthen the existing enhanced post-award debriefing rules established by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) in 2018. As you will recall, those rules included the requirement that contracting officers provide unsuccessful offerors two (2) business days after their debriefing to submit additional questions in an attempt to ensure a more meaningful exchange of information between the procuring agency and industry. The practical impact was that this rule, because the debriefing would not be considered closed until after the additional questions were asked and answered, extended the time during which an offeror could decide whether it wanted to protest the contract award.
The stated objective of this proposed rule is to ensure contractors and offerors are provided a standard written or oral post-award debrief at certain dollar thresholds, while protecting the confidential and proprietary information of other offerors. This new proposed rule would require an awarding agency to provide a debrief (either oral or written), if requested, for all contracts, task orders, and delivery orders valued in excess of $10 million. The rule goes even further to require the debrief include a redacted version of the source selection decision for all awards in excess of $100 million. In the case of contract awards between $10 million and $100 million, this proposed rule would also permit small businesses and non traditional defense contractors to have the option to request a copy of the agency's redacted decision document. This proposed rule does not disturb the expanded timelines that were put in place in 2018 regarding the additional question and answer period after the debrief.
DoD invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities. Now is the time to submit your comments. Submission instructions are provided in the link at the end of this post.