Last week, we discussed the impending public roll-out of FAPIIS (Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System). Any data posted to this database after April 15th will become publicly accessible except for "past performance" information. Today we will look at the Government's policies and procedures relative to contractor performance information, most of which can be found in FAR 422.15.
Past performance information is used by the Government for future source selection purposes and, as the name implies, is documentation of a contractor's actions under previously awarded contracts. In includes, for example, the contractor's record of conforming to contract requirements and to standards of good workmanship, the contractor's record of forecasting and controlling costs; the contractor's adherence to contract schedules, including the administrative aspects of performance, the contractor's history of reasonable and cooperative behavior and commitment to customer satisfaction; and generally, the contractor's business-like concern for the interest of the customer (i.e. the Government).
Agencies are required to prepare evaluations of contractor performance for each contract that exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150 thousand) at the time that work under the contract is completed. There are a few minor exceptions. For larger contracts, Government agencies are encouraged to prepare interim evaluations as well.
The content of past performance information relies on input from technical, contracting, and end users of the product or service. Although there is not a specific requirement to have contract auditors contribute to the assessment, audit reports (especially negative audit reports) have a way of becoming part of the assessment. Agency assessments must be provided to the contractor as soon as practicable after completion of the evaluation. Contractors have at least 30 days to review and submit comments, rebutting statements, or additional information. Disputes are adjudicated at a level above the contracting officer however the ultimate conclusion on the performance evaluation is a decision of the contracting agency. All agencies are required to retain the initial evaluation, contractor response and review comments as part of the evaluation.
Evaluations are used to support future award decisions and are considered "source selection" information. That means that this data is not released to other than Government personnel and the contractor whose performance is being evaluated. Disclosure of such information could cause harm to both the commercial interest of the Government and to the competit5ive position of the contractor being evaluated as well as impede the efficiency of Government operations.
Past performance information is retained for three years after completion of contract performance.