The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense recently issued a memorandum to DOD contracting officials directing as follows:

Effective immediately, when providing a postaward debriefing of offerors in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.506(d), contracting officers shall include in the debriefing information provided to unsuccessful offerors an opportunity to submit additional questions related to the debriefing within two business days after receiving the debriefing. The agency shall respond in writing to the additional questions submitted by an unsuccessful offeror within five business days after receipt of the questions. The agency shall not consider the postaward debriefing to be concluded until the agency delivers its written response to the unsuccessful offeror.

The memorandum—which was issued in response to section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018—goes on to state:

[T]he agency shall comply with the requirements of FAR 33.104(c) regarding the suspension of contract performance or termination of the awarded contract, upon receipt of a protest filed by an unsuccessful offeror at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) within—

  • Ten days after the date of contract award;
  • Five days after a debriefing date offered to the protester under a timely debriefing request and no additional questions related to the debriefing are submitted; or
  • Five days after the Government delivers its written response to additional questions submitted by the unsuccessful offerors, whichever is later.

According to the memorandum, this direction “remains in effect until it is incorporated in the DFARS or otherwise rescinded.”