04.06.2017 A Practical Guide to Federal Government Contract Debriefings By: Michael D. Maloney

Welcome to A Practical Guide to Federal Government Contract Debriefings. This guide has been designed to work effectively on your desktop computer and on your mobile device.

Debriefings are an integral part of the government contracting process and an important tool in every government contractor’s toolkit. Debriefings serve multiple purposes and can (and should always) be used as a marketing opportunity for your business. They offer great opportunities for you to show your customer how well-organized, professional and competent you are. At the same time, Debriefings can provide assurances that the Government’s selection decision was proper. They also can be fishing expeditions for protest grounds if you are a losing bidder and the contract is business-critical. You need to identify what is strategically important to your business, but you should also understand that a Debriefing triggers key deadlines for bid protests, which makes a Debriefing a critical legal tool.

With Debriefings, preparation is the key to success, however you define success. We hope this Practical Guide helps you get the most out of your Debriefings.


DEBRIEFINGS – THE TEN COMMANDMENTS                                                    

THE BASICS                                                                                                             

Debriefing – What Is It?                                                                                                           

Debriefing – When Is It Required?                                                                            

Debriefing – When Is It Not Required?                                                                              

Debriefing Or Brief Explanation?                                                                                

Award Notice/Notification To Unsuccessful Offerors                                                 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW                                                                                      

Before Your Debriefing

  • Pre-award Debriefings
  • When Should A Pre-award Debriefing Be Held?
  • Content: What Is Required?
  • Content: What Is Prohibited?
  • Post-award Debriefings                                                                              
  • When Should A Post-award Debriefing Be Held?
  • Content: What Is Required?
  • Content: What Is Prohibited?
  • Preparing For Your Debriefing

During Your Debriefing

  • Model Debriefing Questions
  • Your Debriefing Notebook
  • More Debriefing Recommendations

After Your Debriefing

  • When Does Your Debriefing End?
  • Why It Matters


  • FAR Provisions
  • Sample Pre-award Debriefing Request Letter
  • Sample Post-award Debriefing Request Letter
  • Sample Debriefing Questions