Enhanced Debriefings: A Toothless Mandate?

7 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020 Last revised: 1 Oct 2020

See all articles by Steven L. Schooner

Steven L. Schooner

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: February 1, 2020


This short piece discusses the (alleged) manner in which the Department of Defense (DoD) conducted the disappointed offeror's post-award debriefing following the award of the $10 billion, $10-year Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing contracting opportunity. While the quality of DoD’s debriefing is unlikely to alter the outcome in the pending protest litigation, it seems inconsistent with policy, the current trend favoring greater transparency, and the recent Congressional mandate for “enhanced debriefings.”

The piece suggests that, consistent with decades of study and experience, debriefings make sense, but only if they are informative or, more to the point, responsive. Conversely, formalistic debriefings serve no purpose, waste government resources, and frustrate private sector offerors that invested valuable resources preparing lengthy proposals.

Keywords: debriefings, enhanced debriefings, transparency, bid protests, government contracts, defense acquisition, negotiated procurement, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

JEL Classification: H57, K12, K23, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Schooner, Steven L., Enhanced Debriefings: A Toothless Mandate? (February 1, 2020). 34 Nash & Cibinic Report ¶ 10 (2020), GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-05, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2020-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532671

Steven L. Schooner (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/steven-l-schooner

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