FAR Council proposes standardizing past performance evaluations

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A proposed rule change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation would standardize past performance evaluation factors and rating categories above the simplified acquisition threshold.

Genesis of the proposed rule, printed Sept. 6 in the Federal Register, stems from language in the fiscal 2012 national defense authorization bill which requires the FAR Council to craft standards for the timeliness and completeness of past performance database submissions.

Among the proposed changes is addition of two tables to past performance requirements in FAR 42.15 (Part 42 generally addresses contract administration and audits).

One table would be for performance in general, the other for small business subcontracting; in both cases, contracting officers would select an exception, very good, satisfactory, marginal or unsatisfactory rating for the contractor.

To justify an exceptional past performance rating, contracting officers would generally have to identify "multiple significant events" of benefit, although a singular benefit "could be of such magnitude that it alone constitutes an exceptional rating," the proposed rule states.

The reverse applies to the other extreme of unsatisfactory--multiple instances of significant events, although one especially bad event could by itself be grounds for an unsatisfactory rating.

The change would apply to standalone contracts and task- or delivery-orders on multi-agency indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity vehicles. The proposed change leaves it up to contracting officer discretion as to whether a past performance evaluation would be necessary for a orders made on a single-agency IDIQ.

Contractors would have 30 days to review the performance evaluation and in cases of disagreement between them and contracting officers, the review would be subject to scrutiny "at a level above" the contracting officer, although the ultimate conclusion would be "a decision of the contracting agency."

For more:
- go to the proposed rule in the Federal Register

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