Debriefing is a way of helping suppliers to improve their competitive performance, which in turn produces benefits to procuring organisations.
Unsuccessful tenderers 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 suppliers to improve their performance. A debriefing should cover the positive aspects of their bid and suggest areas for improvement for unsuccessful bids. Suppliers can then address these issues and improve their competitiveness in future bids.
Offer unsuccessful tenderers 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 suppliers 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 debate the validity of a tender.
- It must be made clear to each tenderer that only their own tender will be discussed. Under no circumstances will commercial terms or innovative ideas put forward by another tenderer be disclosed.
- The Briefing 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.
The timing of a debriefing should be determined by commercial judgement and within a reasonable time of the award decision being made.