As we discussed in an earlier post about the NDAA for FY 2018, one of the most significant changes with respect to procurement issues may be related to the DOD’s conduct of debriefings. Perhaps missed in the discussions of a potential new protest regime going into effect in a couple years is the fact that one of the most significant debriefing changes is effective immediately without the need for a new regulation.
Specifically, Section 818 of the NDAA required that DOD agencies provide disappointed offerors with an opportunity to ask follow-up questions “within two business days after receiving a post award debriefing” and provided that the “5-day period” associated with the timeline for a CICA stay “does not commence until the day the Government delivers to a disappointed offeror the written responses to any questions submitted” pursuant to the new rule. Because these provisions of the NDAA amended the underlying statutes (10 U.S.C. § 2305 and 31 U.S.C. § 3553) instead of requiring the Secretary to amend the DFARS, these rules went into effect upon the signing of the NDAA. In fact, in a few cases since the NDAA went into effect, we have seen DOD agencies agree that the new rules are in effect.
So, what do contractors need to know?