Photo of Jonathan M. BakerPhoto of John E. McCarthy Jr.Photo of Anuj VohraPhoto of Christian CurranPhoto of Rina Gashaw

On May 20, 2021, the FAR Council issued a proposed Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) rule on post-award debriefings that largely codifies—and in a number of ways bolsters—the existing enhanced post-award debriefing rules established by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) March 22, 2018 Class Deviation on Enhanced Postaward Debriefing Rights.  The proposed rule requires that the awarding agency provide an oral or written debriefing, when requested, for all contracts, task orders, and delivery orders valued in excess of $10 million.  The rule further augments the DFARS clause on DoD debriefings, requiring (1) debriefings to include a redacted version of the source selection decision document (SSDD) for all awards in excess of $100 million; and (2) the option for a small business or nontraditional defense contractor to request a redacted version of the SSDD for contract awards between $10 million and $100 million.  And as with DoD’s Class Deviation, if an offeror submits additional questions in response to the initial debriefing within two business days of being debriefed, the debriefing shall not close until the agency responds to those questions.  Under those circumstances, the protester’s clock for filing a protest at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (including the five-day window in which to file and obtain the Competition in Contracting Act’s automatic stay of performance) does not begin to run until such time as the agency provides its response.  If no questions are posed, the protest timelines are unchanged.