DoD Proposes To Expand on Enhanced Debriefings

The Department of Defense (DoD) has proposed to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement Section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA FY2018) that provides enhanced debriefings after contract or task order awards.

The enhanced debriefing rights in Section 818 will apply to all contracts, task orders, and delivery orders in excess of $10 million. All contracts over $10 million will require a written or oral debriefing when requested. They will also provide contractors the opportunity to submit follow-up questions within two business days to the agency after their requested debriefing. The agency will have five business days to respond and the contracting officer may not close the debriefing until the agency delivers its written response to the contractor.

For defense procurements over $10 million and not in excess of $100 million, small businesses and nontraditional defense contractors can request a redacted copy of the written source selection decision document. If the award is over $100 million, the debriefing must include a redacted copy of the source selection decision document.

These changes also create new timeframes for the suspension of a contract award when protested at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). They are as follows:

  • Within 10 days after awards exceeding $25 million.
  • Within five days of requested debriefing and no follow-up questions submitted.
  • Within five days after the date a requested debriefing is offered and not accepted.
  • Within five days after the agency provides written responses to questions submitted after a requested debriefing.

These amendments will not apply to contracts below the simplified acquisition threshold. They will apply to commercial items including commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items.

Comments are open until July 19, 2021. Comments can be submitted here.

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