COLLECTING AND USING
CURRENT AND PAST
Office of Federal Procurement Policy
Office of Management and Budget
Executive Office of the President
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
Statutory and Regulatory Basis
Working with Contractors
Recording Current Contract Performance Information
Using Past Performance as a Source Selection Factor
Concerns Expressed by Contracting Officers
Orders under Multiple Award Contracts
and Multiple Award Schedule Contracts
CHAPTER 2. EVALUATING AND RECORDING CURRENT PERFORMANCE
Contractor Performance Systems
Contractor Performance Report Forms
Who Assesses Contractor Performance
Frequency of Assessments
End User Feedback
Subcontractors, and Teaming, and Joint Venture Partners
Contractor Response and Agency Review
Release of Contractor Assessment
Planning for Good Contractor Performance
CHAPTER 3. USING CURRENT AND PAST PERFORMANCE AS A SOURCE
Planning for Using Past Performance Information
Drafting Sections L and M of the Solicitation
Section L, Instructions to Offerors
Section M, Evaluation Criteria
Evaluating Past Performance
APPENDIX ISAMPLE CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE REPORT AND INSTRUCTIONS
APPENDIX IIDOD PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT ELEMENTS FOR LARGE
APPENDIX IIIPERFORMANCE RATING GUIDELINES
APPENDIX IVSAMPLE QUESTIONS AND IDEAS FOR TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS
APPENDIX VAUTOMATED PAST PERFORMANCE INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Since the passage of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act
of 1994, all Federal Departments and Agencies have initiated procedures to record
contractor performance on in‑process contracts and to use past contractor
performance information in source selection. We have learned from the experience
of agencies and contractors that recording contractor current performance information
periodically during contract performance and discussing the results with contractors
is a powerful motivator for contractors to maintain high quality performance
or improve inadequate performance before the next reporting cycle. Current
performance assessment is a basic best practice for good contract administration,
and is one of the most important tools available for ensuring good contractor
Current performance assessments when completed become past performance
information for use in future source selections. Completion of these assessments
improves the amount and quality of performance information available to source
selection teams. The use of past performance as a major evaluation factor in
the contract award process is instrumental in making best value selections.
It enables agencies to better predict the quality of, and customer satisfaction
with, future work.
The techniques and practices used to implement the current and
past performance initiatives that are discussed in this document are not mandatory
regulatory guidance. They should be viewed as useful examples of techniques
for recording and using contractor performance to better assess contracts and
to enhance the source selection process.
I wish to thank the agency procurement and program officials and
representatives from the private sector who shared their experiences. I am
particularly thankful for the participation of those working level acquisition
officials who prove every day that these best practices actually work to improve
contractor performance. In addition, special thanks go to the interagency team
that developed the initial recommendations for this edition: Joseph Beausoleil
‑ U.S. Agency for International Development; John Corso ‑ Department
of Veterans Affairs; Linda Davis ‑ Defense Logistics Agency; Marilyn Goldstein
‑ Department of Education; Helen Hurcombe ‑ Social Security Administration;
and Richard Leotta ‑ Department of Energy. Melissa Rider ‑ Defense
Acquisition Regulation Directorate, was instrumental in preparing this edition.
Copies of this guidebook are available on line at For hard copies
or if you have questions, comments or suggestions contact David Muzio, phone
202‑395‑6805, fax 202‑395‑5105, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or Yvette Garner, phone 202-395-7187, email email@example.com.
Deidre A. Lee
Office of Federal Procurement Policy
The Federal Government is in a continuous process to reinvent itself, with
a goal of becoming a government that works better and costs less. The Government
is the largest acquisition organization in the world with expenditures of about
$200 Billion a year for commercial goods and services. This is one third of
the Federal discretionary budget of about $600 Billion. How well the Governments
acquisition teams administer in-process contracts and discuss with contractors
their current performance, determines to a great extent how well agencies can
achieve their missions and provide value to the taxpayers. By increasing attention
to contractor performance on in-process contracts and ensuring past performance
data is readily available for source selection teams, agencies are reaping two
benefits: (1) better current performance because of the active dialog between
the contractor and the government; and (2) better ability to select high quality
contractors for new contracts, because contractors know the assessments will
be used in future award decisions.
Statutory and Regulatory Basis
The 1994 Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA), signaled a "sea
change" in Federal acquisition. FASA was signed into law by the President
on October 13, 1994 (P.L. 103-355). In FASA, Congress acknowledged that it
is appropriate and relevant for the Government to consider a contractor's past
performance in evaluating whether that contractor should receive future work.
Section 1091 of FASA states:
Past contract performance of an offeror is one of the relevant factors that
a contracting official of an executive agency should consider in awarding a
It is appropriate for a contracting official to consider past contract performance
of an offeror as an indicator of the likelihood that the offeror will successfully
perform a contract to be awarded by that official.
FASA requires the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy
(OFPP) to "establish policies and procedures that encourage the consideration
of the offerors' past performance in the selection of contractors." Specifically,
it requires that the Administrator establish:
Standards for evaluating past performance with respect
to cost (when appropriate), schedule, compliance with technical or functional
specifications, and other relevant performance factors that facilitate consistent
and fair evaluation by all executive agencies.
Policies for the collection and maintenance of information on past contract
performance that, to the maximum extent practicable, facilitate automated collection,
maintenance, and dissemination of information and provide for ease of collection,
maintenance, and dissemination of information by other methods, as necessary.
Policies for ensuring that offerors are afforded an opportunity to submit relevant
information on past contract performance, including performance under contracts
entered into by the executive agency concerned, by other agencies, State and
local governments, and by commercial customers, and that such information is
The period for which past performance information may be maintained.
FASA also states that an offeror for which there is no information on past
contract performance or with respect to which information on past contract performance
is not available, may not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on the factor
of past contract performance.
These policies and procedures are contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation
(FAR) Parts 9, 12, 13, 15, 36 and 42. FAR PART 36 provides specific procedures,
dollar thresholds, and forms for evaluation of A&E and construction contracts;
however, Contracting Officers are still encouraged to evaluate past performance
on these contracts if they exceed $100,000. This ABest Practices@ adds further
background and assistance in implementing the FAR provisions.
Working With Contractors
In meetings with OFPP, contractors of all sizes and many industry associations
have emphasized the power of past performance as a tool for motivating contractors
to make their best efforts. However, they have raised concerns that many assessments
are not being done, or are being done inconsistently. Contractors seek an above-board,
timely evaluation process. They want frank discussions early in the process
so they have an opportunity to improve performance, if necessary, before final
assessments are given. They want to be advised of any negative comments being
entered into official reports and given ample opportunity for a rebuttal. They
fear inflated assessments as much as poor assessments because inflated assessments
help poor contractors and hurt good contractors. This document addresses inflated
assessments in Chapter 2, Performance Ratings, where the rating scale for
full contract compliance has been adjusted from 4 to 3 to reduce rating creep.
Communication is critical. Commercial companies have come to
recognize that two-way communication is vital to a productive relationship with
their suppliers. On-going open discussion with the contractor about the Government's
requirements and how the contractor can best meet them, can greatly improve
the quality of deliverables under Government contracts. The better the contractor
performance evaluation, the more competitive the contractor will be for future
work. We go into further detail on this process in Chapter 2.
Recording Current Contract Performance Information
The key to the long-term success of this important initiative is for each agency
to assess and maintain a record of contractors performance on procurement actions
exceeding $100,000 . Each agency is encouraged to adopt a current performance
information system that will systematically record contractor performance in
the following areas:
Quality of performance - as defined in contract standards;
Cost performance - how close to cost estimates;
Schedule performance - timeliness of completion of interim and final milestones.
Business relations - history of professional behavior and overall business-like
concern for the interests of the customer, including timely completion of all
administrative requirements and customer satisfaction.
FAR Subpart 42.15, Contractor Performance Information aims to ensure
a clear and concise record of a contractors performance on every contract,
task order or other contractual document exceeding $100,000, based on a discussion
with the contractor about recent performance. These assessment records are
to be readily available for use on source selections anywhere in the Government.
The record can be maintained in the contract file, in a separate manual file,
or, preferably an automated database. Agencies should make the performance
assessment process a seamless part of the normal contract administration process.
Systems in place that meet or exceed FAR Part 42 requirements do not need to
be changed. Reports prepared by award fee boards, from earned value management
system reports, or other similar contract administration records, may be used
as the past performance record. Separate reports are not required. The additional
work needed to make these reports formal performance reports is to include contractor
discussion and comments on the evaluation, and file it for source selection
A few tips: Keep the record simple. Focus on information
that answers the following question: "Would I do business with this contractor
Augment any numerical or adjectival scores with supporting rationale. This
allows other Contracting Officers to understand the rationale for the overall
rating. Remember that other Contracting Officers may need to consider a contractors
rebuttal and they need to know the story behind your scores. We go into
further detail on contractor performance evaluations in Chapter 2.
We expect that the Government-wide contract performance assessment process
will evolve to where assessments are consistently performed on time on all appropriate
contractual instruments electronically. When this happens, solicitations will
need only to ask offerors to provide a list of past Government contracts that
they have performed that were similar to the potential contract. The source
selection teams will be able to electronically access the various agency contractor
information systems and download the required information. This streamlined
process of obtaining Government references will provide much, if not all, of
the information necessary to evaluate the offeror's past performance. Source
selection boards will not need to conduct extensive interviews with the contract
administration team, or conduct other investigations to verify an offeror's
past performance. Because contractors will have been offered the opportunity
to comment on the ratings as they were prepared, further comment in the proposal
or during discussions, if held, will be streamlined.
However, until all agencies adopt an automated system connected to other Federal
Government systems, the Contracting Officer and evaluation team will still need
to occasionally use questionnaires and conduct interviews to obtain necessary
information. Because contractors may submit references from state and local
governments and private sector contracts, the use of questionnaires and telephone
calls to gather information will always be necessary, but on a limited scale
compared to today.
Using Past Performance as a Source Selection Factor
Commercial firms rely on information about a contractor's current and past
performance as a major criterion for selecting a high quality supplier. It
is not surprising that use of performance information as an evaluation factor
was identified by Congress as a method for Federal acquisition streamlining.
Too often in the past, the Government relied heavily upon detailed technical
and management proposals and contractor experience to compare the relative strengths
and weaknesses of offers. This practice often allowed offerors that could
write outstanding proposals, but had less than stellar performance, to "win"
contractsCeven when other competing offerors had significantly better performance
records and, therefore, offered a higher probability of meeting the requirements
of the contract. Emphasizing past performance in source selection, helps ensure
that the Government will contract with firms likely to meet performance expectations.
OFPP encourages agencies to make contractors performance records an essential
consideration in the award of all negotiated acquisitions. When the Government
demands high quality service as a requirement for future business opportunities
similar to the private sector, competition will produce higher quality service
by contractors. We go into further detail on the source selection process in
Concerns Expressed by Contracting Officers
1) Past performance and quality certifications are not perfect
Nothing is a perfect predictor. However, many Contracting Officers successfully
use past performance information and quality certifications as source selection
factors and have found that the resulting contractor performance is of a higher
quality than in the past. Also, most large private sector purchasers consider
past performance. Whenever relevant, Contracting Officers should use these
sources of information to buy best expected value.
2) Past performance and quality certifications
do not always apply.
No predictors are universally useful, but they should be used in the majority
of cases where they do apply. For example, on purchases made once a generation,
past performance history does not provide the same probability of predictability
of future performance as it would on repetitive purchases. When it does not
make sense to include past performance information, Contracting Officers may
waive it (FAR 15.304(c)(3)(iii).
3) Past performance is not always a discriminator in source selections.
Achieving a state where all potential contractors offer the same risk free,
high quality service, and only cost plays in the source selection decision,
is the ultimate goal. That is not likely anytime soon. If we did not assess
and record contractor performance during the contract and then use that information
in source selections, we would lose a significant motivator for contractors
to perform all contracts at a high level. Past performance information improves
your chances that all the technical and cost information provided is a reliable
predictor of future performance. Those who receives offers only from firms
with exceptional past performance, such that it not a discriminator, are fortunate.
4) Giving a contractor a poor evaluation can lead to legal action against
the Government raters.
Problems with poor performance can lead to frustrations for both the contractor
and Government. Early identification of concerns and open lines of communication
(e.g., including the preparation of interim reports) can lead to constructive
dialogue that can help to improve performance on the instant contract and avoid
adversarial feelings that might otherwise develop if potential misunderstandings
are ignored until late into contract performance.
While straightforward dialogue should lessen the likelihood of legal action
against a government rater, suits may occasionally arise. If agency officials
are acting within the scope of their employment (e.g., preparing an unbiased
assessment in accordance with FAR Part 42.15), the Federal Torts Claims Act
will protect such officials from personal liability for common law torts. In
those instances, if an agency official were sued, upon certification by the
Attorney General, the official would be dismissed from the lawsuit and the United
States would be substituted as the defendant.
If a claim is filed by the contractor on the past performance ratings, the
contract file and assessment record should be updated. This information should
be provided to source selection teams along with the other contractor performance
records. The offeror should also include in the proposal a discussion on claims
filed. The source selection team should evaluate the data provided and use
Orders under Multiple Award Contracts and Multiple Award Schedule Contracts
Multiple award task and delivery order contracts (MACs) and the multiple award
schedules (MAS) have become increasingly popular procurement vehicles for satisfying
agency needs. Both vehicles enable agencies to apply competitive pressures
efficiently in placing orders after considering a small number of capable contractors,
thus allowing customers to take advantage of advances in technology and changes
in agency priorities in an opportune manner. Ensuring meaningful consideration
of contractor performance prior to placement of an order under either of these
vehicles is just as important -- and can be just as effective in making a best
value decision -- as consideration of past performance in the award of the underlying
vehicle itself. FAR 8.404(b) (addressing order placement under MAS) and FAR
16.505 (covering order placement under MACs) both address the consideration
of past performance at the order level.
The basic practices discussed in this document, relating both to
the evaluation of contractor performance and its consideration in source selection,
are applicable to the administration and placement of orders under MACs and
MAS contracts. However, it is reasonable to assume with respect to orders
as would be assumed for any contractual actions that these techniques will
be tailored to the nature and complexity of the work being performed. The key
is to ensure that the ultimate approach taken results in effective consideration
of the four fundamental elements of past performance: (1) quality of performance,
(2) cost performance, (3) schedule performance, and (4) business relations.
Given that there may be numerous assessments under one contract, the source
selection evaluator should use a trend analysis to determine the risks of successful
performance on future task orders and multiple award contracts.
Agencies have successfully applied general concepts and best practices described
in this document to the placement and administration of orders. With respect
to MACs, for instance, agencies are, among other things:
- Using past performance as
an initial screen to determine which awardees will receive further consideration
for a task or delivery order.
- Conducting interim evaluations
and conducting customer satisfaction surveys.
- Holding meetings with contractors
experiencing performance and quality problems.
- Collecting past performance
information in a database for use in the issuance of future orders.
The division of responsibilities between agencies using MACs (customers),
and agencies issuing them (servicers) may vary. However, it is important
that each party have a clear understanding of its role in assessing and recording
contractors performance -- especially when the customer and servicer are from
different agencies. This includes use of MAS contracts as well. As a general
matter, the customer agency maintains current and past performance records on
their particular contractors for future task or delivery order awards, as well
as, provides feedback to the servicing agency. The servicing agency should
use this information from users for purposes of future source selections on
MACs and MAS.
This guide focuses on purchases above the simplified acquisition threshold
(SAT). However, Contracting Officers may consider past performance in purchases
under the SAT, including purchases conducted electronically (see FAR 13.106-1(a)(2)).
Contracting Officers may use whatever information is available to the buying
office about an offeror's past performance or is available in the agency or
other available database when making an award decision. The Contracting Officer
need not prepare a formal evaluation plan, conduct discussions, or score offers.
However, the Contracting Officer should give the contractor an opportunity to
discuss any negative performance. Simplified documentation procedures can be
used to support the final action taken. For example, a note can be inserted
in the file stating instances of late deliveries or poor quality on prior awards.
Upon request by the unsuccessful offeror, the Contracting Officer should explain
the award rationale. The procuring activity should ideally establish a simple,
but consistent, system for applying past performance in simplified acquisitions
that rewards contractors that provide timely, high quality products and services.
EVALUATING AND RECORDING CURRENT
Contractor Performance Systems
The key to an efficient and effective Government-wide contractor performance
system is the establishment, by each agency to the maximum extent practicable,
of an automated mechanism to record and disseminate this information. Agency
systems need to be easy to use and part of normal contract administration duties
of the program office and the Contracting Officer. The performance evaluations
should flow directly from agency contract administration procedures. Where
Performance-Based Service Contracts are used, the Quality Assurance Surveillance
Plan should include the formal performance evaluation as an element of the plan.
Agencies using Earned Value Management Systems to monitor contract performance
may use the information directly from the system reports as the basis for the
performance evaluation. Agencies may also use award fee determinations as the
basis for the evaluations. In all cases, performance evaluations must be consistent
with the results of these determinations. Ideally, agency systems should have
the capability to connect to other Government systems. Agencies that do not
have automated systems should retain their information in a manual system where
the data can be readily available to source selection teams. The initial recording
of the information may be done by the program manager or Contracting Officer
according to agency procedures, but should reflect the acquisition team's assessment
of the contractors performance. The final report that will be used for dissemination
to source selection boards and provided to the contractor should be signed by
the Contracting Officer.
FASA espouses a preference for automated systems. Currently, the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) has a comprehensive automated system that is available
to all agencies for a minimal fee. At the time this document was published
there were 14 organizations that were subscribers to the NIH system. The Department
of Defense (DOD) also has a number of automated systems. Points of contact
for the DOD and NIH systems can be found in Appendix V. Where agencies have
systems in use that meet the requirements of FAR 42.15, they may be continued
at the discretion of the agencies. Over time, we expect most Federal agency
systems to be able to interface with each other to provide Contracting Officers
an easy, quick way to access contractor performance information. Agency systems
will need to migrate toward a uniform Government-wide format for recording contractor
performance information to make this possible. Agencies should investigate
other systems periodically to determine the feasibility and cost effectiveness
of joining together to create a uniform system.
Contractor Performance Report Forms
A sample Contractor Performance Report form is provided in Appendix I. This
form is not the only way to comply with FAR Subpart 42.15, Contractor Performance
Information. Agencies may use another format if it would permit more cost-effective
evaluation of contractor performance. The DOD has developed a more comprehensive
format for recording information on major system acquisitions. (See Appendix
II.) The content and format of performance evaluations may be established
in accordance with agency procedures and should be tailored to the size, and
complexity of the contractual requirements. However, all rating systems should
track four basic assessment elements -- cost, schedule, technical performance
(quality of product or service) and business relations including customer
satisfaction, and use five basic ratingsC exceptional (5), very good
(4), satisfactory (3), marginal (2), and unsatisfactory (1) C as discussed
below. This enhances interagency sharing of past performance information.
Construction and architect-engineer (A&E) contract assessment elements
and ratings are established under FAR Part 36. However, some agencies, (DOD
and NIH) have developed formats other than the forms 1420 and 1421 prescribed
in Part 36. Agency forms may be used if they record the same or more information
as the FAR forms. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates two automated centralized
databases to collect performance information on construction and A&E contracts.
These databases are open to all agencies, if the agency adopt the DOD forms.
The NIH automated system also contains an A&E/construction module acceptable
For classified contracts, the same past performance policy and
guidance are applicable. Recording information on these type contracts needs
to address how well the contractor performed, and not on what the contractor
Who Assesses Contractor Performance
The Contracting Officer and program office (e.g., Contracting Officers Technical
Representative (COTR), the Contracting Officers Representative (COR) and Quality
Assurance Evaluator (QAE) or whatever term is used by the agency for the technical
person monitoring the contract, are jointly responsible for assessing contractor
performance. The person responsible for preparing the initial assessment must
consider inputs from the program manager, end user, the Contracting Officer,
and other parties affected by the item or service.
Frequency of Assessments
A final assessment must be prepared for contract actions (i.e., contracts,
task & delivery orders) exceeding $100,000 upon completion of the contract
or order. In addition, interim assessments should be prepared as specified
by the agencies to provide current information for discussion purposes and for
source selection purposes. We strongly emphasize interim assessments as part
of good contract management. If the performance period exceeds 18 months, then
the Contracting Officer should conduct interim assessments at least every 12
Interim assessments provide essential feedback to contractors on their performance.
They provide Contracting Officers an opportunity to give contractors performing
well a "pat on the back" and encouragement to keep up the good work. Interim
assessments give contractors experiencing problems the opportunity to correct
problems before they jeopardize contract completion. They also provide current
performance information on comparable contracts to source selection teams.
Most Agencys contract administration practices dictate that interim assessments
be prepared at least every twelve months for contracts. However, it is recommended
they be prepared and discussed with contractors at least every six months,
sometimes more often depending on contractor performance problems. An honest discussion
of the contractor's performance is important. Contractors know past performance
assessments directly affect their ability to compete for future contracts
and will normally take actions necessary to improve their rating. The contractor
should always know how the agency rates its performance -- no surprises! Likewise,
during your discussions, you should ask the contractor if there are areas
that the Government could improve its performance, such as in partnerships,
contributions to achieving mission success, etc. The key to the process
The sample Contractor Performance Report form sets out four assessment areas
to rate the contractor's performance - Quality, Timeliness, Cost Control,
and Business Relations.
For three of the areas - Quality, Timeliness and Cost Control, the ratings
should reflect how well (how close) the contractor complied with the specific
contract performance requirements for each area. The ratings should be concise,
but provide supporting rationale that address questions about the performance
that would be asked by a source selection team. Here are a few examples of
The software met all contract performance requirements for ease of use and
output. The speed and accuracy of the financial system package exceeded expectations.
The contractor met all contract milestones for system development and field
installation. Some internal contractor management milestones were missed, but
timely identification of problems and corrective actions kept the program on
The contractor's cost management was excellent and resulted in a 2 percent
under-run from target cost. The contractor submitted a value engineering change
proposal that resulted in a price decrease of 10 percent.
The fourth assessment area, Business Relations, assesses the working
relationship between the contractor and contract administration team, and some
of the other requirements of the contract not directly related to cost, schedule
and performance such as:
- user satisfaction
- subcontract management including
achievement of small/small disadvantaged and women-owned business participation
goals, and incentive fees earned on exceeding subcontracting goals
- integration and coordination
of all activity needed to execute the contract, change proposal submissions,
and the contractor's history of professional behavior with all parties.
End User Feedback
When assessing feedback from end-users, remember that they may be unfamiliar
with the contract requirements. Remind end-users that their feedback should
relate directly to the cost, schedule, and technical performance requirements
explicitly expressed in the contract and an assessment of the business relations.
The Contracting officer should evaluate the end user comments to determine if
the contractor reasonably tried to meet their demands within the contract requirements.
Only rate the contractor on work that is within the contract requirements.
If end-users are dissatisfied with the work as specified in the contract requirements,
an assessment of the work requirements may need to be undertaken.
Each rating area may be assigned one of five ratings as listed below. The
ratings given by the government should reflect how well the contractor met the
cost, schedule and performance requirements of the contract and the business
relationship. (See Appendix III for rating summaries.) Contractors are not
expected to be perfect in their execution to reach contract requirements. A
critical aspect of the assessment rating system described below is the second
sentence of each rating that recognizes the contractor's resourcefulness in
overcoming challenges that arise in the context of contract performance. The
government is looking for overall results, not problem free management of the
contract. If references are using a different scale that does not easily correlate
to the source selection teams rating scale, then the source selection team
must make a correlation between the two scales. If necessary, contact the reference
for more information on definitions used for its rating scale.
Exceptional (5). Performance meets contract requirements and
significantly exceeds contract requirements to the Government's benefit.
For example, the contractor implemented innovative or business process reengineering
techniques, which resulted in added value to the Government. The contractual
performance of the element or sub-element being assessed was accomplished with
few minor problems for which corrective actions taken by the contractor were
Very Good (4). Performance meets contractual requirements and
exceeds some to the Government's benefit. The contractual performance
of the element or sub-element being assessed was accomplished with some minor
problems for which corrective actions taken by the contractor were effective.
Satisfactory (3). Performance meets contractual requirements.
The contractual performance of the element or sub-element contains some minor
problems for which proposed corrective actions taken by the contractor appear
satisfactory, or completed corrective actions were satisfactory.
Marginal (2). Performance does not meet some contractual
requirements. The contractual performance of the element or sub-element being
assessed reflects a serious problem for which the contractor has submitted minimal
corrective actions, if any. The contractors proposed actions appear only marginally
effective or were not fully implemented.
Unsatisfactory (1). Performance does not meet contractual
requirements and recovery is not likely in a timely or cost effective
manner. The contractual performance of the element or sub-element contains
serious problem(s) for which the contractor's corrective actions appear or were
Subcontractors, Teaming, and Joint Venture Partners
It is important to maintain a record, on the contractor performance report
form, of the major subcontractors and any team or joint venture partners on
the contract. This is a listing of the firms participating, the work they are
responsible for (if segregable for team or joint venture partners), and the
key personnel. As the Government only has privity of contract with the prime
contractor, subcontractors teams and joint venture partners should not be given
a separate rating. Comments on the performance of these firms will be reflected
in the ratings for the prime. Listing these firms allows them to cite the contract
for past performance purposes in proposals for future work either as prime contractors
or as subcontractors or other partners. Source selection teams may review
the assessment to determine the ratings given for the work for which these firms
were responsible. Because the past performance rating given by the source selection
team would not have been discussed with these firms, Contracting Officers must
ensure the contractor has an opportunity to comment on the rating before including
it in the source selection process. This process will reduce the number of
firms that do not have a relevant past performance history in the source selection.
Contractor Response and Agency Review
While the ultimate conclusion on the performance assessment is a decision of
the contracting agency, the FAR provides for contractor comment. Upon completion
of the initial assessment by the program and contracting office, the assessment
should be signed by the program office person most familiar with the contractor's
performance and initialed by the Contracting Officer. The Contracting Officer
should sign the final assessments. As soon as practicable after the form is
signed, and ordinarily within a day, it should be sent to the contractor for
comments. The required turnaround time for contractor response may not be less
than thirty days (see FAR 42.1503(b)), but in most cases, 30 days should be
a sufficient response time. Contracting Officers may extend the response period
as warranted. If the contractor fails to provide a response by the established
deadline, the Contracting Officer should call the contractor and initiate discussions
on the performance and request a written reply. If all attempts fail, then the Government's comments
can stand alone.
If the contractor submits a rebuttal for any or all of the ratings and an agreement
on the ratings cannot be reached by the contractor, the Contracting Officer
and lead assessor, the contractor may seek review at least one level above the
Contracting Officer, as prescribed by the agency (see FAR 42.1503(b)). In the
event the contractor and Contracting Officer do not agree on the performance
rating(s), the Contracting Officer and lead assessor should make every effort
to discuss with the contractor the details of the performance assessment and
the contractors response. In these cases, such effort should require a face-to-fact
meeting between the parties. The contractor's statement and agency review must
be attached to the performance report and must be provided to source selection
officials requesting a reference check.
When the Government has completed its review of the contractor's comments,
but in no case later than the insertion of the assessment into an automated
PPI System or other agency system, the Contracting Officer must send a copy
of the completed assessment to the contractor.
The completed assessments, including any contractor response or rebuttal, and
agency reviews above the Contracting Officer, should be filed in the contract
file, in a separate file, or automated database where they can be readily accessible
by contracting office personnel. Automated databases should be accessible by
source selection teams in other agencies through use of a secure system. Interim
assessments should be retained for the duration of the contract and included
with the final assessment in the file. The interim assessment allows source
selection teams to analyze performance trends during the contract.
Assessments may not be retained to provide source selection information
for longer than three years after completion of contract performance . The assessment storage system
used should provide individual contractor access to only that contractors
Release of Contractor Assessment
Since contractor assessments may be used to support future award decisions,
FAR 42.1503(b) require that they be marked Source Selection Information.
FAR 42.1503(b) further states that the completed evaluation shall not be released
to other than Government personnel needing the information for source selection
purposes and the contractor whose performance is being evaluated during the
period the information may be used to provide source selection information.
The rationale for handling information in this manner is stated in the FAR
itself: disclosure could (i) cause harm to the commercial interest of the
Government, (ii) cause harm to the competitive position of the contractor
being evaluated, and (iii) impede the efficiency of government operations .
Planning For Good Contractor Performance
The Government acquisition team (program office, contracting, and end user)
must work closely with the contractor to obtain our goal of satisfying the customer
in terms of cost, quality, and timeliness of the delivered product or service.
The Contracting Officer should communicate often with the contractor, starting
with a good post award conference. This part of the process ensures that everyone
has the same vision of successful performance. Members of the Government acquisition
team (Procuring Contracting Officer (PCO), Administrative Contracting Officer
(ACO), program manager, Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR),
Contracting Officers Representative (COR), Quality Assurance Evaluator (QAE),
legal, and contractor counterparts) should get together in one room. All should
read the contract and clearly establish the Government's expectations. Everyone
should understand how past performance information will be recorded. The Government
acquisition team should agree on how often the Lead Evaluator/Contracting Officer
and the contractor will discuss contract performance.
Status meetings should be planned at least quarterly on large contracts. The
focus should be on the contractors performance against cost, schedule, and
performance goals. The team should discuss the contractors performance deficiencies,
corrective actions, areas where the contractor is meeting Government expectations,
and any Government deficiencies. This process applies to smaller contracts
as well, adjusting the meeting frequency to match the relative complexity of
the contract requirement. Contracting Officers are also encouraged to have
an open door policy that allows contractors to voluntarily discuss performance
problems as they arise. These meetings should be a complete discussion on the
contractors performance, both good and bad, and the Governments compliance
with contract requirements.
The Naval Undersea Warfare Center has seen the effects
of this Best Practice in the reactions of contractor and government employees
in administration of current contracts. The greatest benefit is the improvement
in communication both between the Government and the contractor and within
the Government. Contractor managers are initiating discussion of performance
expectations and achievements with Government personnel. Officials of the
smaller and medium sized companies in industries with intense competition
are especially concerned about Past Performance rating information which will
affect future contract awards. Often they do not consider a Satisfactory
rating acceptable and expect their contract managers to achieve Very Good
or Exceptional ratings. A secondary benefit is the improvement of internal
Government communication as contract specialists and technical/program managers
discuss problems and successes in contract administration in the effort to
establish appropriate annual Past Performance ratings.
Remember--the goal is excellent contract performance that provides products
or services at the best value for the taxpayer's dollar! This goal can't be
achieved unless the acquisition team does some homework:
- Track and document contract performance closely
- Read and understand the contractors cost, schedule and performance reporting
- Know how well the contractor is meeting its other contract requirements
such as socio-economic goals
- Know if the Government contributed to performance problems
- Actively work to eliminate Government roadblocks to excellent performance
Document the discussions (They need not go in the "formal" past
performance information system, but the contracting officer must be able
to track the steps the contractor and the Government take to improve contract
- Recognize successful efforts to improve performance
USING CURRENT AND PAST PERFORMANCE AS A SOURCE SELECTION FACTOR
The Government has always considered a contractors performance
record during the acquisition process. However, agencies traditionally have
considered it as an aspect of contractor responsibility. A prospective contractor
must have a satisfactory performance record in order to do business with the
Government (see FAR 9.104‑1(c)). This helps ensure that taxpayer dollars
are not wasted on contracts with nonresponsible contractors. Past performance
can and should be used to do more than just help the Government decide whether
a contractor is capable of performing. The Government must also compare the
past track records of competing offerors to help identify which one offers the
best relative value in order to get the best deal for the taxpayer. Using past
performance as an evaluation factor to rank an otherwise responsible contractor
for award of a contract is not, therefore, part of the responsibility determination.
Evaluation factor rankings are not subject to the Small Business Administrations
Certificate of Competency (COC) ratings.
It is important to distinguish comparative past performance
evaluations used in the tradeoff process from pass/fail performance evaluations.
Pre-award surveys and pass/fail evaluations in the low price technically
acceptable process help you determine whether an offeror is responsible. Responsibility
is a broad concept that addresses whether an offeror has the capability
to perform a particular contract based upon an analysis of many areas including
financial resources, operational controls, technical skills, quality assurances,
compliance with Government laws, and past performance. These surveys and evaluations
provide a yes/no, pass/fail, or go/no-go answer to the questions, Can
the offeror do the work? to help you determine whether the offeror is responsible.
Referral to the SBA may be necessary if a small business is eliminated
from the competitive range solely on the basis of past performance. SBA referral
is not required as long as the use of past performance information requires
a comparative assessment with other evaluation factors and not as a pass
or fail decision. The comparative assessment of past performance information
is separate from a responsibility determination required by the FAR.
On the other hand, a comparative past performance evaluation conducted
using the tradeoff process seeks to identify the degree of risk associated
with each competing offeror. In short, the valuation describes the degree of
confidence the Government has in the offerors likelihood of success.
Emphasis in this chapter is placed on using current and past performance
information primarily available from Government-wide and Agency-wide databases,
to help expedite and streamline the evaluation process. If such information
is not readily available from these databases, then seek to gather it from other
government entities and private sector sources. In using past performance as
a source selection factor, there are primarily three key points which should
be conveyed in the solicitation (Sections L and M), and are discussed in more
detail later in this chapter:
(1) Contractors should list in the proposal 5 to
10 specific contracts (not more than 3 years old) and a list of contact names
and addresses for each of the references requested in the solicitation;
(2) Contractors should be encouraged to discuss any
negative performance issues and corrective actions taken; and
(3) Government must include the method of evaluating
the information and its relevancy, and the relative rank or applicable weight
assigned to current and past performance.
Planning For Using Past Performance Information
The Government must evaluate past performance in all competitively
negotiated acquisitions expected to exceed $100,000 [see FAR 15.304(c)(3) (ii)],
unless otherwise documented by the Contracting Officer why past performance
is not an appropriate evaluation factor pursuant to FAR 15.304(c)(3) (iii).
Past performance evaluations become distinct discriminators when
a best value award is made. Tradeoffs among cost or price, and non‑cost
factors and subfactors permit the Government to accept other than the lowest‑priced,
technically acceptable offer. In accordance with FAR 15.304(c)(1) & (2),
price or cost, and quality shall be addressed in every source selection. Quality
may be evaluated through past performance. The Contracting Officer has the
full flexibility to award on these two factors alone when determined appropriate
and consistent with the FAR.
The acquisition team should take advantage of synergy between
past performance and other critical evaluation factors. For example, the management
plan could be replaced by a past performance evaluation that focuses on management
effectiveness. This will help streamline the source selection process by selecting
only a few critical evaluation factors; focusing on offerors ability to carry
through as promised; emphasizing experience and past performance; and eliminating
the need for a proliferation of management and quality plans where the past
performance evaluations will suffice.
The acquisition team should determine the relative rank or weight
to place on past performance during the acquisition planning phase, and the
type or kind of past performance that could be considered similar or relevant
to the pending procurement. It could use market research or the source selection
teams previous experience on similar acquisitions to determine whether the
evaluation of past performance should be a critical factor in the procurement
(i.e., a high ranking or heavily weighted factor). For instance, the source
selection team may know that all contractors under the most recent (5 to 10)
contracts for similar requirements had excellent performance or market research
may reveal that prospective offerors have very similar records of successful
past performance. There may be procurements where past performance is not a
meaningful discriminator among prospective offerors, and therefore, should be
a relatively less important source selection factor in those cases.
Agency officials may assign any weight or relative importance
to past performance compared to any other evaluation factor, and have broad
discretion regarding the source and type of past performance information to
be included in the evaluation. However, it is recommended that the weight assigned
to past performance be at least 25 percent of the total evaluation; or, equal
to the other non-cost evaluation factors to ensure significant consideration
is given to past performance. A very low weighting (5-10%) may reduce the overall
perception of how important good contract performance is as an element of the
source selection process.
It is good to involve industry early to help identify and resolve
concerns regarding the approach to assessing past performance information (see
FAR 15.201) before releasing the final solicitation. Early communications could
consist of meetings with prospective offerors via presolicitation conferences
or sending out requests for information, draft solicitations, or advertising
in trade publications. These are all useful market research tools for obtaining
preliminary information from industry, or familiarizing the source selection
team with the nuances of a particular business or industry, that will ultimately
help the team develop an evaluation plan and Sections L and M of the solicitation.
Drafting Sections L and M of the Solicitation
The key to successful use of past performance and with any other
evaluation factor in the source selection process is the establishment of
a clear relationship between the statement of work (SOW), Section L (instructions
to offerors) and Section M (evaluation criteria). The factors chosen for evaluation
must track back to the requirements in the SOW. They should be reasonable,
logical, and coherent.
Accordingly, Section L and Section M should be clear with respect
to what past performance information the Government will evaluate and how it
will be ranked or weighted. Past performance information that is not important
to the current acquisition should not be included.
Section L, Instructions to Offerors
Consider the following when developing proposal submission requirements.
See FAR 15.305(a)(2):
1. Tailor the requirements to reflect
the complexity of the procurement, and the relative importance of past performance
and any of its subfactors to that procurement.
2. Ask offerors for a list of references
for on-going contracts or contracts completed not more than 3 years ago that
demonstrates performance relevant to the solicitation performance requirements.
Keep the number of references requested to as few as possible to give an accurate
reflection of past performance. We recommend 5 to 10 references as the norm,
with more than 15 to be a seldom occurrence. FAR 42.1503(e) states that past
performance information shall not be retained to provide source selection information
for longer than 3 years after completion of the contract. For contracts where
there are lots of actions and many contractors provide the products or services,
a shorter period may be appropriate. It is best to request the most recent
references, many times this would mean limiting references to 1 or 2 years back.
3. Limit the contractors ability
to cherry pick only the best references. All relevant contracts performed
during the identified period, or the last X relevant contracts performed by
the entity within the identified period should be sought. The goal is to get
a true picture of the contractors overall, recent performance record.
4. Provide potential offerors the
opportunity to provide information on problems encountered on the identified
contracts. Limit this section to the discussion of problems and corrective
actions taken. It is not necessary or efficient to burden the process by asking
that the contractor prepare a description of its past performance history.
The references will inform the source selection team of the contractor experience
5. Inform potential offerors that
past performance information on work for State and local governments, private
sector clients, and subcontracts that is similar to the Government requirement
will be evaluated equally with similar Federal contracts. This will help ensure
that firms new to the Federal process are given a fair opportunity to compete.
6. Remind potential offerors that
they may submit information on key personnel, major subcontractors, work performed
as part of a team or joint venture, and other previous reincarnation of its
current organization. This will allow most firms without prime contract history
to provide past performance information. This will reduce the cases of neutral
past performance ratings.
7. Past performance information
is proprietary source selection information. Therefore, Section L should explain
that the Government will only discuss past performance information directly
with the prospective prime or sub-contractor that is being reviewed. If there
is a problem with the proposed subcontractors past performance, the prime can
be notified of a problem, but no details, may be discussed without the subcontractors
8. Rely on existing documentation
from Federal systems or other systems to the maximum possible extent. This
will expedite and streamline the source evaluation process significantly.
If adequate documentation is not readily available (Government evaluations not
completed, State and Local governments and private sector references), then
a brief survey with follow up calls, or phone interviews should be used to verify
past performance. It is strongly recommended that the survey be no longer than
1-2 pages and prior contact be made with the cognizant officials before sending
out the survey. Experience shows that long surveys are not returned timely
(if returned at all), which slows down the evaluation process. If a survey
is to be used include a copy in the solicitation. You could use the same format
in Appendix 1 for the survey.
9. It is important to ask for at
least two references on each non-Federal reference. In addition to ensuring
that all aspects of the contractors performance will be discussed, it also
ensures that anonymity of the references can be maintained. There is considerable
concern that there will be a tendency for inflated rating from references if
the name of the person providing the rating is revealed to the offeror.
10. Section L should include a statement that the Government
may use past performance information obtained from other than the sources identified
by the offeror and that the information obtained will be used for both the responsibility
determination and the best value decision.
11. Where large, multi-function firms are likely to submit
a proposal, ask for references only on work done by the segment of the firm
(division, group, unit), not the firm in general.
12. If the source selection team expects a large volume
of proposals, the solicitation may request early submission of the past performance
volume with the rest of the proposal to follow at a later date. This practice
allows more time to conduct a thorough review of the past performance information.
13. Do not ask the offeror to obtain replies from listed
references and submit them to the Contracting Officer by a certain date. Obtaining
the past performance information from the listed references is a Government
source Selection Teams responsibility, not an offeror's responsibility.
Section M, Evaluation Criteria
Section M of the solicitation contains the evaluation factors
and subfactors, and their relative importance (with weights if appropriate).
This section is very important to offerors, and should be clear and consistent
with the instructions provided in Section L. The Government should describe
the approach for evaluating past performance in this section, including offerors
with no relevant performance history. Consider the following when drafting
the past performance evaluation factor:
1. Use Past Performance as A Distinct Factor
The past performance factor should be distinct and identifiable
in order to reduce the chances of its impact being lost within other factors
and to ease the evaluation process. However, if integrating past performance
with other non-cost/price factors provides a more meaningful picture, each agency
should use its own discretion. The key is to not dilute the importance or impact
of past performance when determining the best value contractor.
2. Choose Past Performance Subfactors Wisely
Tailor the subfactors to match the requirement and
to capture the key performance criteria in the statement of work. Carefully
consider whether subfactors add value to the overall assessment, warrant the
additional time to evaluate and enhance the discrimination among the competing
- Quality of Product or Service The offeror will be evaluated
on compliance with previous contract requirements, accuracy of reports,
and technical excellence to include Quality awards/certificates.
- Timeliness of Performance The offeror will be evaluated on meeting
milestones, reliability, responsiveness to technical direction, deliverables
completed on-time, adherence to contract schedules including contract administration.
- Cost Control The offeror will be evaluated on the ability to perform
within or below budget, use of cost efficiencies, relationship of negotiated
costs to actuals, submission of reasonably priced change proposals, and
providing current, accurate, and complete billing timely.
- Business Relations
The offeror will be evaluated on the ability to provide effective management,
meet subcontractor and SDB goals, cooperative and proactive behavior with the
technical representative(s) and Contracting Officer, flexibility, responsiveness
to inquires, problem resolution and customer satisfaction. The offeror will
be evaluated on satisfaction of the technical monitors with the overall performance,
and final product and services. Evaluation of past performance will be based
on consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances. It will include a
determination of the offerors commitment to customer satisfaction and will
include conclusions of informed judgment. However, the basis for the conclusions
of judgment should be substantially documented.
3. Subcontractor, and
Teaming, and Joint Venture Partners Past Performance
For the purpose of evaluation of past performance information,
offerors shall be defined as business arrangements and relationships such as
joint ventures, teaming partners, and major subcontractors. Each firm in the
business arrangement will be evaluated on its performance under existing and
prior contracts for similar products or services.
Evaluating Past Performance
The source selection team should validate
the prospective offerors past contract information as part of the overall evaluation
process and then assign a performance risk rating. The final past performance
rating may be reflected in a color, a number, adjective rating, or some other
means, depending on the agency policy for indicating the relative ranking of
the offerors. Performance risk assessments should consider the number and severity
of problems, the demonstrated effectiveness of corrective actions taken (not
just planned or promised), and the overall work record. Instances of good or
poor performance should be noted and related to the solicitation requirement.
If problems were identified on a prior contract, the role the Government may
have played in that result should be taken into account. The evaluation team
should look for indications of excellent or exceptional performance in the areas
most critical to the requirement.
The source selection team first evaluates how well a prospective
offeror performed, and then rates the relevancy of that performance. Generally,
the final evaluated rating is used along with other rated evaluation factors
in a comparative assessment to determine which offeror is the most highly rated
and most likely to be awarded the contract. An effective evaluation of past
performance allows the Contracting Officer to focus on contractors with sound
performance records that are among the most highly rated.
A significant achievement, problem,
or lack of relevant data in any aspect of the requirement can become an important
consideration in the source selection process. A negative finding may result
in an overall high performance risk rating, depending upon the
significance placed on that aspect
of the requirement by the source selection team. Relate the ratings to the
solicitation requirements and provide rationale that identifies the strength
or weakness. Determine if the Government may have contributed to a weakness,
and, if so, to what extent.
A past performance rating is not a
precise mechanical process, therefore, a supporting rationale for the final
rating needs to be included in the contract file. The documentation need not
be voluminous. The assessment should include rationale for the conclusions
reached. As long as that rationale is reasonable, i.e., based on analysis,
verification, or corroboration of the past performance information, and is evaluated
against the evaluation factors stated in the solicitation, it will withstand
scrutiny by the courts.
The source selection team
should commit reasonable efforts to obtain information from all references.
Failure of timely responses from Federal agencies should be pursued to a level
necessary to obtain a response. The source selection team should be cautious
not to downgrade or penalize offerors for the judicious use of the contract
For large complex contracts, it may
be best for an agency to establish a separate past performance evaluation team,
especially if the agency anticipates receiving a large number of proposals.
Include contracting and program office representatives on the team. Maximum
effectiveness occurs when the evaluators background matches that of the reference.
This allows the Government to obtain a more complete picture of the offerors
Upon completion of the reference check,
the source selection team should review trends to determine the risks of successful
performance on the contract. When checking private-sector references, the source
selection team should consider the potential of any conflict of interests between
the offeror and the reference.
Naval Facilities Engineering Commands Southwest Division
in San Diego used past performance information as an important part of its
procurement for a two-phase design-build contract to obtain a fixed price,
total effort in design, engineering and construction of a 10,240 square foot
youth Center at Point Mugu, California. As part of the Phase I Past Performance
criteria, contractors were evaluated through the use of surveys, on adherence
to schedule commitment to customer satisfaction, change order history, and
commitment to safety. This evaluation resulted in the selection of three
firms to submit design/construction proposals for Phase II of the acquisition
process. Performance is still in process; however, interim assessment of
the contractor selected indicate that the quality of design was very good,
there were very few changes except those desired by the customer, and the
completion date is on target.
Consider the following while evaluating
1. Rely on existing evaluations
to the maximum extent possible
Utilize National Institutes of Health
(NIH), DOD, or other agency wide databases to abstract pertinent information
in conducting the past performance review. Information on agency wide databases
and points of contacts may be found in Appendix V. If, information is not available
via the databases, use brief surveys or phone interviews with the cognizant
Contracting Officers to gather the required information. Sample questions and
ideas for telephone interviews and questionnaires can be found in Appendix IV.
2. Recency and Relevancy
Past performance information must
be relevant and recent regarding an offerors actions under previously awarded
contracts. Similar or relevant past performance efforts could be defined by
the size, scope, complexity, and contract type.
Each prospective offeror has the responsibility
to provide references that are relevant to the new work and must explain the
relevance of its past performance information submitted, particularly when it
may not be easily apparent. For instance, in the case of a newly formed business
entity or in contractor teaming arrangements where the company is relying mostly
on the past performance and experience of its key personnel, partners on the
team, or on a major subcontractor(s), the proposal must clearly explain whose
past performance, and how that past performance is relevant to the procurement.
Giving prospective offerors opportunities
to submit non‑similar past contract performance information, although
it may not be given much weight or may be rated a higher risk will, in the long
run, enhance the integrity and fairness of Government acquisitions, and increase
the competitive base.
3. Lack of Past Performance
Given the number of mergers and acquisitions
in today's American business environment, potential offerors may not have existed
under their current name for very long. This creates an interesting wrinkle
in the source selection process. Agencies must recognize this dynamic world
marketplace and accommodate new prospective offerors by being more flexible
in their procurement rules and practices.
The past performance of the offerors
resources is a good indicator of future performance for new companies entering
the marketplace that lack relevant experience, or mergers of previously
established companies. If the key management personnel, subcontractors, or
other resources, have experience on contracts similar to the pending requirement
for another contractor; state and local government contracts; private contracts;
or was a major subcontractor; then the source selection team can perform the
appropriate evaluation and risk assessment. This reduces the chance of needing
to neither reward nor penalize an offeror with no other relevant past performance
If the contractor is truly a new entity
and none of the company principals ever performed relevant work for others,
the company is considered to have no past performance. Special rules apply
in this situation. Section 1091(b)(2) of FASA states that in the case of an
offeror with respect to which there is no information on past contract performance
or with respect to which information on past contract performance is not available,
the offeror may not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on the factor of past
contract performance. This requirement is implemented at FAR Part 15.305(a)(2)(iv):
In the case of an offeror without a record of relevant past performance or
for whom information on past performance is not available, the offeror may not
be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on past performance. We expect this
will happen very rarely.
There are various methods that may be used to evaluate a competitive offeror
with no past performance history and it is at the discretion of the agency to
determine the most appropriate method on a case-by-case basis. Remember that
the evaluation method selected must be clearly stated in the solicitation.
4. Evaluating Subcontractors,
and Teaming, and Joint Venture Partners
Treat subcontractor, and teaming,
and joint venture partners past performance information the same as any prime
contractor past performance information. Past performance information cannot
be disclosed to anyone other than Government personnel with a need-to-know
without the firms consent. The Government must obtain the consent of the separate
entities before disclosing its past performance information to the prime during
discussions. The consent may be provided as part of the primes proposal.
This approach lets the Government discuss any negative or unfavorable past performance
information on a proposed firm with the prime offeror and greatly facilitates
the conduct of meaningful discussions. It also gives the prime contractors
an opportunity to mitigate the impact to their evaluated standing by enabling
them to find out more about the other firms past performance problems, or to
even replace the proposed firm with another firm having a better past performance.
REMINDER: You can only evaluate what you told
the contractor you would evaluate. Therefore, be very clear in the solicitation!!
Superintendent of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP) Portsmouth
saved $10.9 million during the first two years of administration of its first
Best Value Source Selection for an Indefinite Quantity contract to obtain
Chemical Holding Transfer (CHT) Systems services over past sole source or
separate contracts for similar services. The criteria for source selection
were Past Performance and Technical Capability considered to be equal importance
and both combined as more important than price. Since the Navy CPARS was
not extensively operational at that time, they required contractors to list
similar contracts and then interviewed the listed Points of Contact. Wide
advertisement resulted in more proposals than they were previously aware of
and expanded price competition. The eventual awardee was a contractor who
had been performing similar services in cleaning drinking water for municipalities
but had never before considered Navy ships as potential clients. This contract
was so successful for the Navy that its use is being extended to the U.S.
The offeror must be provided
an opportunity to address adverse past performance information obtained from
references on which the offeror has not had a previous opportunity to comment,
if that information makes a difference in the Governments decision to include
the offeror in or exclude the offeror from the competitive range. Any past
performance deficiency or significant weakness must be discussed with offerors
within the competitive range during discussions. This allows the offeror a
fair opportunity to rebut any negative information that may not be due solely
to the poor performance of the contractor, or that may not have been adequately
resolved since the date of the information provided. For example, budget and
funding reductions may not always equate to a corresponding reduction in scope
of work, and the contractors performance may be negatively impacted. There
may be times when excessive Governmentdriven requirement changes and last minute
changes may also negatively impact the contractors performance.
Section M must describe
where in the evaluation process past performance will be used to rank offerors.
Some agencies evaluate past performance on all offerors and rank them to determine
the competitive range. Others consider past performance only on the firms in
the competitive range when the mission suitability is paramount. If this is
the case, then Section L should clearly state the Governments intent.
In the interest of fairness, also consider allowing offerors to rebut all negative
past performance information or clarify relevance of past performance information
even when discussions are not anticipated. This type of exchange is a clarification
(see FAR 15.306(a)). The Government may still award without discussion following
SAMPLE CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE REPORT
CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE REPORT
[ ] Final or [ ] Interim
Period Report: From / / To / /
2. Contract Number:
Task Order Number:
3. Value: $
4. Award Date:
5. Type of Contract:(Check all that apply)-[ ]FP [ ]FP-EPA [ ]CPFF
Completion [ ]CPFF-Term [ ]CPIF
[ ]CPAF [ ]ID/IQ [ ]BOA [ ]Requirements [ ]Labor Hour [ ]T&M
[ ]CR [ ]Other
6. Description of Requirement:
7. Ratings. After commenting, score, in column on the right, using
1 for unsatisfactory, 2 for marginal, 3 for
satisfactory, 4 for very good, and 5 for exceptional.
Cost Control Comments
Business Relations Comments
Total Score (sum of scores from each area)
Mean Score (sum of scores divided by number of areas evaluated):
8. Subcontractors and Teaming and Joint Venture Partners
List major subcontractors, team, joint venture
partners, by name with brief description of
Work and names of key personnel.
9. List Key Personnel of Prime
10. Would you select the firm again? Yes ____ No ____
Is/Was the contractor committed to customer satisfaction? Yes ____
11. Assessing Officers Name/Org. ID
Date Sent to Contractor:
12. Contractor's Review. Were comments, rebuttals, or additional information
[ ] No [ ]Yes. Please attach comments.
13. Returned by (type name):
14. Agency Review. Were contractor comments reviewed at a level above
the Contracting Officer?
[ ] No [ ]Yes. Please attach comments. Number of pages
15. Final Ratings. Re-assess the Block 7 ratings based on contractor
comments and agency review.
Validate or revise as appropriate.
Mean Score (Add the ratings above and divide by the number of areas rated)
16. CO's Name
Release of Information: This Contractor Performance
Report may be used to support future award decisions, and will be treated as
source selection information in accordance with FAR 3.104-4(k)(1)(x)
and 42.1503(b). The completed report shall not be released to other than Government
personnel and the contractor whose performance is being evaluated during the
period the information is being used to provide source selection information.
APPENDIX I (Continued)
SAMPLE CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE REPORT INSTRUCTIONS
Block 1: Contractor Name and Address. Identify the specific division being
evaluated if there is more than one.
Block 2: Contract number/task order number being evaluated.
Block 3: Contract value, including options.
Block 4: Contract award date and (anticipated) contract completion date.
Block 5: Type of Contract: Check all that apply.
Block 6: Provide a brief description of the work being done under the contract
and identify the key performance indicators.
Block 7: Indicate rating in far right column. In the comment area, provide
rationale for the rating. Indicate the contract requirements that were exceeded
or were not met by the contractor and by how much.
Block 8: Identify major Subcontractors, and Team Partners, and their work
responsibilities. List the key personnel employed during the rating period
that played a major role in the performance rating. Do not list key personnel
not employed long enough to affect performance. In some cases, more than one
individual may have served in a key position. List persons that had an affect
on the ratings.
Block 9: Identify prime contractor key personnel. See Block 8 above for instructions.
Block 10: Explain why you would or would not select the contractor for this
Block 11: Provide information indicated.
Blocks 12-13: The contractor may provide comments but must sign block 13 to
indicate it has reviewed the rating.
Block 14: If the contractor and Contracting Officer are unable to agree on
a final rating, the contractor may seek review at a level above the Contracting
Officer, as required. Provide information indicated.
Block 15: Adjust the ratings assigned in block 7, if appropriate, based on
any comments, rebuttals, or additional information provided by the contractor
and, if necessary, by agency review. Calculate a mean score.
Block 16: The Contracting Officer's signature indicates concurrence with the
initial and final ratings.
DOD PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT ELEMENTS
FOR LARGE SYSTEMS ACQUISITIONS
For Large System Acquisition, DOD uses an expanded set of review elements as
TECHNICAL (QUALITY OF PRODUCT). This element is comprised of an overall
rating and six sub-elements. Activity critical to successfully complying with
contract requirements must be assessed within one or more of these sub-elements.
The overall rating at the element level is the Program Managers integrated
assessment as to what most accurately depicts the contractors technical performance
or progress toward meeting requirements. It is not a predetermined roll-up
of the sub-elements assessments.
Product Performance Assess the achieved product performance relative
to performance parameters required by the contract.
Systems Engineering Assess the contractors effort to transform operational
needs and requirements into an integrated system design solution.
Software Engineering Assess the contractors success in meeting contract
requirements for software development, modification, or maintenance. Results
from Software Capability Evaluations (SCEs) (using the Software Engineering
Institute (SEIs) Capability Maturity Model (CMM) as a means of measurement),
Software Development Capability Evaluations (SDCEs), or similar software assessments
may be used a source of information to support this evaluation.
Logistic Support/Sustainment Assess the success of the contractors
performance in accomplishing logistics planning.
Product Assurance Assess how successfully the contractor meets program
quality objectives, e.g., producibility, reliability, maintainability, inspectability,
testability, and system safety, and controls the overall manufacturing process.
Other Technical Performance Assess all the other technical activity
critical to successful contract performance. Identify any additional assessment
aspects that are unique to the contract or that cannot be captured in another
SCHEDULE Assess the timeliness of the contractor against the completion
of the contract, task orders, milestones, delivery schedules, administrative
COST CONTROL Assess the contractors effectiveness in forecasting,
managing, and controlling contract cost. For fixed price contracts this assesses
whether contractor met original cost estimated or needed to negotiate cost changes
to meet program requirements.
MANAGEMENT This element is comprised of an overall rating and three
sub-elements. Activity critical to successfully executing the contract must
be assessed within one or more of these sub-elements. This overall rating at
the element level is the Program Managers integrated assessment as to what
most accurately depicts the contractors performance in managing the contracted
effort. It is not a predetermined roll-up of the sub-element assessments.
Management Responsiveness Assess the timeliness, completeness and
quality of problem identification, corrective action plans, proposal submittals
(especially responses to change orders, engineering change proposals, or other
undefinitized contract actions), the contractors history of reasonable and
cooperative behavior, effective business relations, and customer satisfaction.
Subcontract Management Assess the contractors success with timely
award and management of subcontracts, including whether the contractor met small/small
disadvantaged and women-owned business participation goals.
Program Management and Other Management Assess the extent to which
the contractor discharges its responsibility for integration and coordination
of all activity needed to execute the contract; identifies and applies resources
required to meet schedule requirements; assigns responsibility for tasks/actions
required by contract; communicates appropriate information to affected program
elements in a timely manner. Assess the contractors risk management practices,
especially the ability to identify risks and formulate and implement risk mitigation
plans. If applicable, identify and assess any other areas that are unique to
the contract, or that cannot be captured elsewhere under the Management element.
PERFORMANCE RATING GUIDELINES
These are suggested guidelines for assigning ratings on a contractors compliance
with the contract performance, cost, and schedule goals as specified in the
Statement of Work. The guidelines for Business Relations are meant to be separate
ratings for the areas mentioned. All the areas do not need to fit the rating
to give the rating for the category. Ensure that this assessment is consistent
with any other Agency assessments (i.e., award fee assessments).
Technical Performance (Quality of Product/Service)
Met all performance requirements / Exceeded 20 % or more
Minor problems / Highly effective corrective actions / Improved performance/quality
Met all performance requirements / Exceeded 5% or more
Minor problems / Effective corrective actions
Met all performance requirements
Minor problems / Satisfactory corrective actions
Some performance requirements not met
Performance reflects serious problem / Ineffective corrective actions
Most performance requirements are not met
Recovery not likely
Significant reductions while meeting all contract requirements
Use of value engineering or other innovative management techniques
Quickly resolved cost issues / Effective corrective actions facilitated cost
Reduction in overall cost/price while meeting all contract requirements
Use of value engineering or other innovative management techniques
Quickly resolved cost/price issues / Effective corrective actions to facilitate
overall cost/price reductions
Met overall cost/price estimates while meeting all contract requirements
Do not meet cost/price estimates
Inadequate corrective action plans / No innovative techniques to bring overall
expenditures within limits
Significant cost overruns
Not likely to recovery cost control
Significantly exceeded delivery requirements (All on-time with many early
deliveries to the Governments benefit)
Quickly resolved delivery issues / Highly effective corrective actions
On-Time deliveries / Some early deliveries to the Governments benefit
Quickly resolved delivery issues / Effective corrective actions
Minor problems / Did not effect delivery schedule
Some late deliveries
No corrective actions
Many late deliveries
Negative cost impact / Loss of capability for Government
Ineffective corrective actions / Not likely to recover
Highly professional / Responsive / Proactive
Significantly exceeded expectations
High user satisfaction
Significantly exceeded SB/SDB subcontractor goals
Minor changes implemented without cost impact / Limited change proposals /
Timely definitization of change proposals
Professional / Responsive
Exceeded subcontractor goals
Limited change proposals / Timely definitization of change proposals
Professional / Reasonably responsive
Adequate user satisfaction
Met subcontractor goals
Reasonable change proposals / Reasonable definitization cycle
Less Professionalism and Responsiveness
Low user satisfaction / No attempts to improve relations
Unsuccessful in meeting subcontractor goals
Unnecessary change proposals / Untimely definitization of change proposals
Delinquent responses / Lack of cooperative spirit
Unsatisfied user / Unable to improve relations
Significantly under subcontractor goals
Excessive unnecessary change proposals to correct poor management
Significantly untimely definitization of change proposals
SAMPLE QUESTIONS AND IDEAS FOR TELEPHONE
INTERVIEWS AND QUESTIONNAIRES
- Confirm the following data from
the offerors proposal:
- Contract number
- Contractors name and address
- Type of contract
- Complexity of work
- Description and location
of work (e.g., types of tasks, products, services)
- Contract dollar value
- Date of award
- Contract completion date
- Type and Extent of Subcontracting
- Verify any past performance data
to which you may have access
- If the award amount or delivery
schedule changed, find out why.
- Ask what role the reference played
(e.g., COR, contract specialist, ACO, etc.) and for how long.
- If a problem surfaced ask what
the Government and contractor did to fix it.
- Ask for a description of the types
of personnel (skill and expertise) the contractor used and the overall quality
of the contractors team. Did the company appear to use personnel with the
appropriate skills and expertise?
- Ask how the contractor performed
considering technical performance or quality of the product or service; schedule;
cost control (if applicable); business relations; and management.
- Ask whether the contractor was
cooperative in resolving issues.
- Inquire whether there were any
particularly significant risks involved in performance of the effort.
- Ask if the company appeared to
apply sufficient resources (personnel and facilities) to the effort.
- If the company used subcontractors,
ask: What was the relationship between the prime and subcontractors? How well
did the prime manage the subcontractors? Did the subcontractors perform the
bulk of the effort or just add depth on particular technical areas? Why
were the subcontractors chosen to work on specific technical areas, what
were those areas and why were they accomplished by the subcontractors rather
than the prime?
- If a problem is uncovered that
the reference is unfamiliar with, ask for another individual who might have
- Ask if this firm has performed
other past efforts with the references agency.
- Ask about the companys strong
points or what the reference liked best.
- Inquire whether the reference
has any reservations about recommending a future contract award to this company.
- Inquire whether the reference
knows of anyone else who might have past performance information on the offeror.
AUTOMATED PAST PERFORMANCE INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Point of Contact
Contractor Performance System
Ms. Jo Ann Wingard
Past Performance Information Management System (PPIMS)
Architect-Engineer Contract Administration Support System (ACASS)
Construction Contractor Appraisal Support System (CCASS)
Product Data Reporting and Evaluation Program (PDREP)
Department of the Navy Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System
| Air Force
Ms. Lois Todd
937-257-4657 or DSN 787-4657
937-257-6057 or DSN 787-6057
| Defense Logistics Agency
Automated Best Value System (ABVS)
| Defense Information Systems Agency
Contractor Past Performance Evaluation Toolkit
703-681-/ DSN 761
703-681-1673 / DSN 761
 Although agencies are not required to evaluate
performance for contracts awarded under Subpart 8.6, Acquisition from Federal
Prison Industries, Inc., and Subpart 8.7, Acquisition from Nonprofit Agencies
from Employing People Who Blind or Severely Disabled (See FAR 42.1502(b)),
Contracting Officers are still encouraged to be cognizant of contractors
performance, and record and discuss that performance as a matter of good contract
 After contract completion means the date (month)
when work is complete (all contract line items have been delivered), not at
contract closeout. For contracts with warranties, the performance period
is not complete until the end of the warranty period.
 Questions regarding the release of contractor
evaluations under the Freedom of Information Act may be referred to the Office
of Information and Privacy, U.S. Department of Justice (202) 514-3642.