Thursday, August 11, 2011

Past Performance Evaluations

The FAR Councils have issued a correction to the proposed rule they issued back in June of this year, concerning the procedures that the Government must follow in documenting contractor performance.

As a result of recent congressional hearings on the matter, it became evident that the Government did not do a very good job at documenting contractor performance. In many cases, performance was not documented at all. In others, it was not in a useful format or didn’t contain sufficient relevant data. In an effort to improve upon the process, the FAR Councils issued proposed rules assigning responsibility and setting forth standards for the information to be included.

Under the draft rules, the first thing each Governmental agency must do is to establish procedures for performing past performance evaluations. Generally, these procedures must somehow solicit input from technical office, the contracting officer, and where applicable, the end user.

Secondly, the procedures must identify and assign roles and responsibilities to those individuals responsible for preparing both interim (if the contract is multi-year) and final appraisals. If the Agency does not identify specific individuals, the responsibility defaults to the contracting officer.

Thirdly, the person(s) responsible for the evaluations must obtain information from the program office, the audit office, the end user of the product or service, and anyone else they can think of (as appropriate).

Content of Report

The report must reflect how the contractor performed. The report should include clear relevant information that accurately depicts the contractor's performance, and be based on objective facts supported by program and contract performance data. The evaluations should be tailored to the contract type, size, content, and complexity of the contractual requirements.

Evaluation factors for each assessment shall include, at a minimum, the following five elements:
  1. Technical or Quality.
  2. Cost Control (as applicable).
  3. Schedule/Timeliness.
  4. Management or Business Relations.
  5. Small Business Subcontracting (as applicable).

Each of these five evaluation factors are given ratings on a scale of one to five (exceptional, very good, satisfactory, marginal, and unsatisfactory).

Each evaluation factor, as listed in paragraph of this section, shall be rated in accordance with a five scale rating system (e.g., exceptional, very good, satisfactory, marginal, and unsatisfactory). For contracts containing incentive fee provisions, the incentive-fee evaluation must be included. The same goes for award fee information.

Agency evaluations (both negative and positive) are to be provided to the contractor as soon as practicable after completion of the evaluation. Contractors get at least 30 days to submit comments, rebutting statements, or additional information. Any disagreements are considered by a person at a level above the contracting officer however, the ultimate conclusion on the performance evaluation is a decision of the contracting agency.

Completed evaluations are not be released to other than Government personnel and the contractor whose performance is being evaluated during the period the information may be used to provide source selection information. Disclosure of such information could cause harm both to the commercial interest of the Government and to the competitive position of the contractor being evaluated as well as impede the efficiency of Government operations.

Performance information stays in the Government database for three years (or six years for construction and architect-engineer contracts).

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