In the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the government is required to give feedback to companies who lose out on contracts. These debriefings are intended to prevent unnecessary protests, but they may not be having the right effect. William Weisberg, of counsel at Centre Law & Consulting, says that with detailed debriefings, more protests are to be prevented than started.
“If you give us a comprehensive debriefing, I can’t promise you we’re not going to protest. We might anyway, but I can make a good faith representation to you that we’re going to look at this carefully. And we’re much more likely to say, as it is usually the case, ‘We did something wrong. We didn’t fulfill the requirement,’ rather than walking out of there just not knowing…” Weisberg said. “If they give a contractor a real explanation as to why they lost, they’re likely to come back next time and do better; but not file a protest which takes time and money.”