The General Services Administration will expand its debriefing pilot — explaining to offerers why they did or did not win contract awards — in April 2020 to formalize the requisite workforce training.
GSA launched the In-depth Feedback through Open Reporting Methods (INFORM) pilot in October 2018 to test whether providing offerers more insight into its award selection process would improve the quality of future submissions.
INFORM 2.0 will scale the process from 50 acquisitions to 300, so more contracting officers can familiarize themselves with the new post-award communication policy before it’s made permanent.
“Your acceptance of the pilot and feedback on how to improve GSA’s post-award communications has paved the way for the next step in our effort to improve offerers’ perception of the fairness and impartiality of GSA’s award decisions,” wrote Jeff Koses, senior procurement executive at the Office of Government-wide Policy, in a blog.
In the initial pilot, GSA administered an industry satisfaction survey to a test group of offerers and found they perceived the INFORM process to be fairer than the traditional one. Testers rated the INFORM process’ fairness at 4.58 out of 5, compared to 4.14 out of 5 among offerers using the traditional method.
The test group also rated their ability to improve future submissions higher: 4.5 compared to 4.33. And only 17% of testers requested oral feedback meetings, as opposed to 38% of the other offerers.
An acquisition workforce survey further revealed 73% of participating contracting officers preferred the INFORM process, and 74% said it didn’t cause delays.
“GSA and the Congress have worked to improve information sharing with industry and these results highlight that this is a proven and effective concept that should be better utilized by all federal agencies,” Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president of trade association the Professional Services Council, said in a statement. “Based on GSA’s newly released data, PSC believes that the government can and should provide comprehensive debriefings to offerers on all federal contracts.”