What should the source selection team take into account when evaluating past performance?

The source selection team, which includes the COR, should consider the following aspects of contract performance when evaluating an offeror's past performance:

Quality of products or services offered in the past

Timeliness of performance

Cost control

Business practices

Customer (end user) satisfaction

Past performance of key personnel.

What should the COR know about conducting past performance surveys?

Survey questions, answered by past customers, are designed to collect consistent (from one offeror to the next), reliable, and valid data for applying the past performance evaluation factors (price and non-price) stated in the solicitation.

The COR will be required to assist the CO in conducting the surveys. The COR must be careful not to disclose any source selection information relating to other offerors' proposals to the respondents of the surveyshe or she must discuss only the proposal of the particular offeror whose past performance is being evaluated. Before using past performance information to evaluate an offeror, the CO should provide the offeror with an opportunity to discuss information obtained from customers, but the CO must never reveal the names of individuals who provided the past performance information.

When developing an overall judgment of an offeror's past performance, the CO and the COR should consider the following factors:

The number and severity of an offeror's deficiencies, in relation to the offeror's overall work record

The age and relevance of past performance information

Potential bias on the part of any given customer (e.g., whether the customer is a potential competitor of the offeror for other requirements)

The extent to which poor performance by an offeror on a past contract may have been as much or more the fault of the customer as it was the offeror's

Differences in requirements between the current solicitation and contracts with the customer (e.g., differences in the level of technical and performance risk)

The extent to which the offeror has taken measures to correct past problems (e.g., are ratings improving with time?)

Survey-related bias (e.g., the "halo" effecta situation in which the individual making the past performance evaluation knows the offeror did not perform well but gives the offeror a good rating because of favoritism).

The CO will provide sufficient documentation for the file to demonstrate that the government's evaluation of past performance was fair, impartial, and reasonable given available data.

What is the COR's role in conducting the past performance survey?

The COR is a key figure in this initial past performance survey of offerors. Many of the performance factors being evaluated will directly relate to the technical aspects of the requirement. For example, the contractor's demonstrated ability to perform a critical and complex engineering task in the past may serve as assurance that the risk of unsuccessful performance on the current contract is minimal.

In Chapter 6, we will discuss the COR's responsibilities for rating and documenting the contractor's performance during the contract administration monitoring phase of the contract. In May 2000, OFPP revised its past performance guide to encourage increased attention to contractor performance on current (in-process) contracts; OFPP made this change to ensure that past performance data will be readily available for source selection teams. In other words, the new guide attempts to strike a balance between after-the-fact reporting of contractor performance for use in source selection and the use of performance information to improve current contractor performance during the life of the contract. In using past and current performance information, two benefits for the government arise: better current performance resulting from the active dialogue between the contractor and the government, and increased ability to select high-quality contractors for new contracts because contractors know the performance assessments will be used in future award decisions.

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