In this episode of TAC Talks, we discuss “The Debrief.” If you’ve ever been involved in government contracting, you’re more than likely familiar with debriefings, but the question is, Are we getting as much out of them as possible?

Debriefings are an important part of the acquisition process. They show transparency and an opportunity for feedback. Debriefs are so important – and in need of federal government improvement – that OMB released a myth busting memo in 2017 to set the record straight.

As stated in the memo, debriefings afford offerors a competitive solicitation, an explanation of the evaluation process, an assessment of their proposal in relation to the evaluation criteria, a general understanding of the basis of the award decision, and the rationale for exclusion from competition.

While this explanation of the debriefing seems relatively straight forward, there are many nuances to what information must be provided. This information may vary significantly depending on the acquisition strategy, as there are differences based upon how one evaluates proposals and even what Federal Acquisition Regulations section one follows.

This episode gives a peak into what goes through a contracting officer’s mind in preparation for and during a debrief. We even get perspective from one of our esteemed attorneys. This episode will surely give you some great insight as we discuss the difficulty of providing more information than required, where that has helped, and where that might have hurt.

More on TAC Talks

TAC Talks gives a peak behind the federal acquisition curtain and discusses highly relevant acquisition topics with top acquisition professionals and the Office of General Council. Throughout the episodes, it will dissect the ins and outs of various acquisition strategies, debriefings, market research, and more!


Charles Ross is the director of Procurement Service B; Debra Clayton is a contracting officer at VA’s Technology Acquisition Center; and Mellany Alio is an attorney for VA’s Procurement Law.

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