Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Debriefing Unsuccessful Proposers

Many proposers who respond to Request for Proposals (RFPs) will request, after the selection process has been completed, a debriefing meeting with the public agency to find out why they were not successful and to make improvements for the future.  

Public Records:  Generally, the selection records, and even the proposals of other firms, are considered public records and subject to public disclosure requirements.  Thus, a firm may request copies of evaluation forms filled out by each evaluation committee member, as well as summaries of the comments and scores.

Provide Information Before Meeting:  Debriefing meetings tend to be more productive if the public agency has already provided a copy of the scores and a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the requesting firm before the meeting.  This gives the firm the opportunity to think about questions they may have before the meeting.  Many federal funding sources also require the public agency to document the summary of strengths and weaknesses of each proposal as part of the procurement process.


Anonymous said...

That's the first time I have ever heard that evaluation documentation and other offer's proposals are public records and subject to disclosure. I am astounded. Please advise how that is done and the specifics of when you last did it.

Mike Purdy said...

What documents are subject to public disclosure may vary depending on your specific state laws. In Washington State, there are very few exemptions to public disclosure, and the evaluation documentation and proposals would be considered public records. I've followed this practice for many years, both as a public agency employee and as a consultant advising public agencies. I just got through working with a client public agency this month on debriefing proposers and most proposers requested the evaluation scoresheets and other proposals. Please contact me directly to discuss more about your specific questions.