Request for Proposals (RFP) Debriefing Questions and Answers

What is a Debriefing?

Montgomery County encourages offerors to obtain feedback through a debriefing.  The debriefing affords an opportunity for unsuccessful offerors to understand how their proposals were evaluated.  Information learned through the debriefing process can be used by offerors to improve future proposals. 

The following are goals of a debriefing:

  • To assure offerors that the County recognizes that each offeror has invested substantial efforts and resources in preparing and submitting a proposal and should be given feedback when requested.
  • To provide offerors with feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal.  It is an opportunity for the offeror to gain insight that can be used to improve future proposal submissions.

How and when should an Offeror request a debriefing?

A debriefing generally takes place after execution of a contract. The County will send unsuccessful offeror letters and identify the Qualification and Selection Committee (QSC) Chairperson and contact information for a debriefing.  Offerors are encouraged to make requests for debriefings within a reasonable time after receipt of the unsuccessful offeror letter.  Requests should be made by email to the contact person listed in the unsuccessful offeror letter, with a copy to the Procurement Specialist.  An offeror requesting a debriefing must provide the following information in their debriefing request:

  • Solicitation Number and Title
  • The offeror’s official legal name
  • The attendees of the debriefing and their titles

What is NOT included in a Debriefing?

The debriefing process is specific to the individual offeror and that offeror’s proposal.  Therefore, a debriefing does not offer the following:

  • Content of other offeror’s proposals
  • Confidential information regarding other offerors that may compromise trade secrets, references, names, etc.
  • Comparison, scoring, or ranking of other offeror’s proposals
  • Information prohibited from release by the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA)
  • A debate of the solicitation process and outcome
  • Discovery of documents, discussions, thoughts or notes in the evaluation process

What should an Offeror expect after a request for a debriefing?

An offeror requesting a debriefing will be contacted by the QSC Chairperson within five to seven business days after receipt of the email debriefing request to schedule a mutually convenient date and time for the debriefing to occur.  The QSC Chairperson will lead the debriefing.  A debriefing may be conducted in person at a County office or email.  In most instances a request for a debriefing will not be denied, however a debriefing may be postponed.  In the event a request for a debriefing will result in a postponed debriefing the offeror will be notified that a debriefing cannot take place until a later date.  Prior to a debriefing an offeror shall receive the following:

  • Debriefing Agenda
  • Ground Rules for Discussion
  • QSC Summary Score Sheet for debriefed offeror

What will be discussed at a debriefing?

Offerors should expect the debriefing to be an informational discussion based on the framework of the Debriefing Agenda and Ground Rules for Discussion.