Debriefing is a way of helping suppliers to improve their competitive performance, which in turn produces benefits to procuring organisations.
Unsuccessful bidders have a right to know the reasons for their rejection. Feedback should be provided in writing and it is good practice to provide face to face debriefing where possible. If this is deemed appropriate, you need to make sure enough time and resource is given to the debriefing process.
Assist bidders to improve their performance. A debriefing should cover the positive aspects of their bid and suggest areas for improvement for unsuccessful bids. Bidders can then address these issues and improve their competitiveness in future bids;
Offer unsuccessful bidders the opportunity to provide feedback to you on the tender process. This will help with continuous improvement of the process;
Establish and maintain a reputation as a fair, honest and ethical customer. This will help to ensure that high quality bidders will be encouraged to submit tenders.
You should chair the debriefing whilst their User Intelligence Group (UIG) members or end-users can provide guidance and/or assistance.
Where a formal debriefing meeting is deemed appropriate, this may involve representatives from both operational areas of the process and procurement professionals. This will ensure the debriefing is carried out by experienced and fully trained personnel. You should ensure that technical/operational representatives understand their role in the debriefing and follow these guidelines:
- The meeting must not be viewed as a forum for debating the validity of a bid;
- It must be made clear to each bidder that only their own tender will be discussed. Under no circumstances will commercial terms or innovative ideas put forward by another bidder be disclosed.
- The debriefing must be accurate and factual;
- If reasons have been given in writing previously, you should not introduce new or conflicting reasons for the decision;
- At the end of the debriefing, tenderers should be asked for constructive comments on the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documentation and the tendering process generally;
- A record of the debriefing meeting should be taken and placed on the appropriate registered file.
A face-to-face debriefing meeting is not essential in cases where the unsuccessful tenderer has already been provided with written feedback. However this may help unsuccessful tenderers improve their competitive performance for the future.
A debriefing must take place within 30 days of the request by a bidder for further information on reasons as to why their bid was unsuccessful.