OFPP is not setting new policy. It is just emphasizing best practices under existing laws and policies. In fact, we view the myth busting memos as a best practices guide.
We also were impressed that OFPP wants to continue to press the case on debriefings. We pointed out that neither myth busting memorandum really addressed the problem which is, in our view, the scourge of written debriefings. We were not viewed askance when we suggested expurgated SSEB reports and SSA decisions should be released and discussed openly at debriefing meetings. We suggested meetings with government lawyers on the subject since their advice may be crucial to solving the debriefing crisis.
We suggested industry, particularly our group, could well assist in the myth busting effort by providing feedback from our members. Lesley Field said that was exactly what OFPP had in mind and suggested the comments be specific, based on actual case histories and that success stories be included if not emphasized. Our take away was that we could well make the points needed with success stories and we should search them out.
Our reception was warm and cordial. OFPP really is trying to improve communications between industry and the government. We would encourage everyone to get on board. Sharing, discussing and providing feedback on the myth busting campaign is a great starting and rallying point. We all ought to commit to the myth busting principles and pledge to pass them on to our peers. Here's the short hand version of the memorandum Lesley issued Monday:
- Don't just put the contracting officer on your mailing list.
- Don't just bring your marketing person; bring your subject matter experts.
- Attend industry days and outreach events.
- The pre-RFP phase is an important time to show the agency what works.
- One-on-one meetings are important.
- Agencies are encouraged to share pricing information with each other.
- Proposals must be tailored to the specific requirements in the solicitation.
- Always ask for a debriefing and be sure it complies with FAR 15.505 and 506.
The memorandum may be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/myth-busting-2-addressing-misconceptions-and-further-improving-communication-during-the-acquisition-process.pdf.