Thursday, May 5, 2011

Responsibility Determinations - Performance

Before awarding any contract, the contracting officer must make an affirmative determination of responsibility with respect to the prospective contractor. FAR 9-104-1 contains seven standards that a contracting officer must address in making the determination. Today we discuss the third standard; satisfactory performance record.

A prospective contractor must have a satisfactory performance record. It is for the purpose of determining contractor compliance with this standard that the Government collects past performance information. FAR 42.15 states:

Past performance information is relevant information, for future source selection purposes, regarding a contractor’s actions under previously awarded contracts. It 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; the contractor’s record of integrity and business ethics, and generally, the contractor’s business-like concern for the interest of the customer.

Although the Government's past performance database is not available to the public, contractors have the right to examine the information concerning themselves. If you haven't seen it, ask your contracting officer for a copy of information he/she wrote about you. Be sure to correct any erroneous or misleading information.

A prospective contractor that is or recently has been seriously deficient in contract performance shall be presumed to be nonresponsible, unless the contracting officer determines that the circumstances were properly beyond the contractor's control, or that the contractor has taken appropriate corrective action. Past failure to apply sufficient tenacity and perseverance to perform acceptably is strong evidence of nonresponsibility. Failure to meet the quality requirements of the contract is a significant factor to consider in determining satisfactory performance.

A prospective contractor shall not be determined responsible or nonresponsible solely on the basis of a lack of relevant performance history.

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