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Post-Award Debriefing
Letter Template

A Unique Opportunity for Offerors To Improve Their Contract Winning Ratio

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Post-Award Debriefing

Post-Award Debriefing Definition

"How do you define the post-award debriefing process?"

The post-award debriefing is the process by which any offeror, whether successful or unsuccessful, is presented the right to understand the reason why its proposal or bid was either accepted or rejected, but without a comparison with other offerors' proposals.

Getting a debriefing should be seen by offerors as an excellent opportunity to improve their competitiveness by giving them the opportunity to increase the winning ratio of future proposals.

Debriefings of successful and unsuccessful offerors may be done orally, in writing, or by any other method acceptable to the contracting officer. Oral debriefings (face-to-face or via telephone) are preferred and highly encouraged. As a matter of fact, you can request to participate in an oral debriefing with the contract officer in addition to or in lieu of a written debriefing.

In Federal procurement, Federal agencies must conduct post-award debriefing of offerors in accordance with the prescribed procedures set forth in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.506 (refer to S-17.5.4, Pre/Post-Award Debriefing.)

At a minimum, FAR 15.506 (d) states that the debriefing checklist information should include:

  1. the evaluation of the significant weaknesses or deficiencies in the offeror's proposal, if applicable;
  2. the overall evaluated cost or price (including unit prices) and technical rating, if applicable, of the successful offeror and the debriefed offeror, and past performance information on the debriefed offeror;
  3. the overall ranking of all offerors, when any ranking was developed by the agency during the source selection;
  4. a summary of the rationale for award;
  5. for acquisitions of commercial items, the make and model of the item to be delivered by the successful offeror; and
  6. reasonable responses to relevant questions about whether source selection procedures contained in the solicitation, applicable rules and regulations, and other applicable authorities were followed.

What the Contracting Officer Should Not Say in a Contract Debriefing

Information released as part of a post-award debriefing session shall not include side-by-side comparison of the debriefed offeror's proposal with that of other offerors. As far as Federal procurement is concerned, the debriefing shall not also reveal any information prohibited from disclosure by FAR 24.202 or exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) including:

Post-Award Debriefing Timeline

The post-award debriefing meeting is called by the contract officer upon submission by the offeror of a post-award debriefing request letter. The contract officer must receive the offeror's post-award debriefing request letter usually within 3 or 5 days of the receipt by the offeror of the contract award notice. Because the 10-day protest deadline can only start after offerors have been debriefed, the contract officer should then conduct the debriefing meeting as soon as possible, usually within 5 days of receipt of the offeror's post-award debriefing request letter.

The Post-Award Debriefing Step In The Source Selection Process

Post-Award Debriefing Step in the Source Selection Process 

Post-Award Debriefing Letter Definition

Also known as: post-award debriefing request letter

The post-award debriefing letter is the only legally safe way an offeror can request to be debriefed and furnished the basis for the selection decision and contract award, regardless of the acceptance of its proposal or bid.

How to Write a Post-Award Debrief Request Letter

"Could you give me any advice on how to write a post-award debriefing request letter?"
"Do you have any tips, do's and don'ts about how to write a post-award debriefing request letter?"
"Do you have a post-award debriefing request letter checklist?"

If your intent is not to file a post-award protest but rather to gather insight and apply lessons learned to future endeavors, say so in your post-award debriefing request letter as shown below.

"Our intended purpose of requesting a debriefing meeting is not to file a post-award protest but instead to improve for future solicitations by gathering information about our proposal performance against solicitation specifications and evaluation criteria."

Post-Award Debriefing Request Letter Template

I've enclosed below a post-award debriefing request letter template you merely need to complete with your own information or adjust to your particular needs. Make it official by using a company letter head paper and have it signed by a person who is authorized to engage the company responsibility. And explicitly label it Post-award Debriefing Request to avoid any possible confusion regarding the nature of the letter.

—Company Letterhead Paper—


[Contract Officer Name]
[Contact Info]

Reference: RFP No [RFP#], [RFP Title]

Formal Post-award Debriefing Request Letter

Dear [Mr./Mrs.] [Contract Officer Name],

Following award of the contract related to [RFP number], we hereby respectfully request that you provide us with a debriefing [add "in accordance with FAR 15.506 Post-award Debriefing of Offerors", in case of Federal procurement] regarding the reasons why the proposal [or bid] we submitted was not selected for a contract award.

This post award debriefing is requested within the 3-day period [or any number of days] following posting of the contract award on your website [or the award notice dated from (...)] as per contract clause [contract clause number].

Our intended purpose of requesting a debriefing meeting is to improve for future solicitations by gathering information about our proposal performance against solicitation specifications and evaluation criteria. [leave this paragraph if it represents your true intent, remove it otherwise] Hence settle on a debriefing date at your convenience [in accordance with FAR 15.506(a)(2)] and let us know.

We have attached questions we would like you to answer [on top of the ones set forth in FAR 15.506, if any].

We look forward to future opportunities to work together.

Please formally acknowledge receipt of this post-award debriefing request letter.



[Offeror Name]
[Contact Info]

Post-Award Debriefing Request Letter Samples

"Where can I find a sample letter of debriefing of proposal rejection?"
"Can you give me examples of a debrief request letter?"

Here is an exemple of a debrief request letter following a proposal rejection:

Post-Award Debriefing Jurisprudence

Here is an example in which an offeror failed to explicitly state they wanted a post-award debriefing session but merely requested access to information:

Post-Award Debriefing Conference Agenda

"What would be the ideal format of a post-award debriefing session?"

Post-Award Debriefing Agenda Template

Synonyms: post-award debriefing checklist, proposal debrief checklist

The post-award debriefing agenda template is the tool that contracting officers use to tailor both their pre-award debriefing meetings and post-award debriefing meetings.

The post-award debriefing agenda template defines what both the contracting officer and the offeror need to know to better prepare themselves for the debriefing meeting. In a nutshell, the post-award debriefing agenda template includes and details further the following items:

  1. Identification of the contract officer's debriefing team and the debriefed offeror's team.
  2. Purpose of the debriefing meeting
  3. Debriefing rules and debriefing agenda
  4. Source selection process brief review
  5. Proposal evaluation criteria
  6. Source selection organization
  7. Offeror's proposal evaluation results
  8. Offeror's proposal overall ranking
  9. Rationale for award decision
  10. Debriefing memorandum—Request the official debriefing summary

Contact us at should you want to receive the (free) detailed version of the post-award debriefing agenda template aforementioned.

The Contribution of The Post-Award Debriefing Meeting To The Bid/No-Bid Process Flow

The post-award debriefing meeting is a good way to discover what went wrong and to learn lessons that, applied at the very beginning of the process as part of the bid/no-bid decision process flow, will allow you to increase your win ratio by bidding for contracts you would have actually a fair chance to win.

Who's Already Read This Page "Post-Award Debriefing Request Letter Template"

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