A tender briefing session should be offered to all unsuccessful suppliers after a contract to supply has been arranged with the successful supplier.
The debriefing session invitation should be in writing and in many cases will be included with the written notification sent out to all unsuccessful suppliers advising them of the tender outcome.
Generally a deadline will be set for unsuccessfully suppliers to respond to the invitation, with a non-response constituting a formal decline of the offer to debrief.
Exemptions from offering a Debriefing Session
Under certain circumstances an agency may be exempt from offering a one-on-one briefing session including where:
- All unsuccessful suppliers have previously agreed to a written, video or via telephone debrief
- The number of unsuccessful suppliers is so large that only a group debrief is practical
- The value of the opportunity is below a pre-determined monetary value
Exemptions are normally granted on a case-by-case basis.
Focus of a Tender Debriefing Session
The focus of tender debriefing session should be the supplierís unsuccessful bid and not bids made by any other supplier.
Objective of a Tender Debrief Session
The primary objective of a tender debriefing session is to assist unsuccessful suppliers to improve their value proposition for future bids. The most practical way to achieve this objective is for the tender debriefing team leader to discuss the specific improvements that the supplier needs to consider relative to their unsuccessful bid.
It is important to stress that the debriefing session is not intended in any way to be an opportunity for unsuccessful suppliers to remonstrate about the bid outcome.
Tender Debriefing Team Composition
The tender manager or in his/her absence the senior member of the core evaluation team should chair the debriefing session. At least one other member of the evaluation team should be present along with a subject matter expert if required.
A written meeting agenda should be forwarded to all unsuccessful suppliers prior to the debriefing and more importantly it should be strictly adhered to during the meeting.
Topics covered at a Tender Debriefing Session
A wide range of topics maybe discussed however the common thread must be that they relate to suppliers bid and not to other opportunities.
Some of the topics may include.
- Level of compliance
- Solution design deficiencies
- Level of contract acceptance
- Experience level of supplier personnel
- Completeness of the bid
- Level of sub-contracting
- Proposed project timelines
Recording the Meeting
The meeting should be recorded or minuted by a professional stenographer with particular note being taken of any issues arising from the meeting that require further action.
The details surrounding how debriefing sessions will be conducted should be included with the published tender documentation.
The departmentís procurement fairness plan should contain the specific details of how to conduct a tender debriefing session. In the absence of Fairness Plan the guidelines maybe contained in the departments procurement or probity plan.