How is the COR's role in documenting past performance significant to future source selections?

As the official delegated by the CO, the COR may be required to document a contractor's performance in the agency's past performance file. The written evaluation of a contractor's performance is used to provide past performance information relevant to future source selections.

As discussed in Chapter 4, the objective of source selection is to select the proposal that represents the best value for the government. Source selection procedures can be carried out through either a formal structured approach or a much more informal process.

Formal source selection is generally used in high-priced acquisitions, but it may be used in other acquisitions as prescribed in agency regulations. Normally, an official above the CO selects the source.

An informal source selection occurs when the CO selects a contractor with the assistance of a technical evaluation panel.

The government employs the source selection process when the negotiation method of procurement is being used (i.e., the government is not choosing a contractor through sealed bidding). Source selection is based on:

Cost or price competition between proposals that meet the government's minimum technical requirements, as stated in the solicitation


Competition involving an evaluation and comparison of cost or price and other factors, such as superior technical performance or delivery capabilities.

The contractor performance evaluation report gives the source selection board historical data about a contractor's performance under previous contracts for the same or similar supplies or services.

The content and format of the contractor performance evaluation report should be tailored to the breadth, content, and complexity of the contractual requirements. The technical office, contracting office, and where appropriate, end users of the product or service should make input to these evaluations. Evaluations should address all significant areas of performance and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the contractor's performance. Evaluations used to determine award fee or incentive fee payments are a good source of performance information when creating an overall contractor evaluation because additional fees are awarded based on a contractor's performance of contract requirements. Contractors who received award or incentive fees are those that performed well.

Evaluations of contractor performance should be provided to the contractor as soon as practicable after completion of the evaluation. Interim evaluations may encourage a contractor's continued good performance, assist a contractor in improving marginal performance, or identify major deficiencies so that a contractor is not surprised by future government actions based on poor performance.

Once the contractor receives a performance evaluation, it is given a minimum of 30 days to submit comments, rebutting statements, or additional information. Disagreements between the contractor and the government regarding the evaluation are considered by officials at a level above the CO. The ultimate resolution of the disagreement regarding the performance evaluation (i.e., deciding which party is "right") is a decision made by the contracting agencymost likely, the head of the contracting activity will actually make the final decision. Copies of the evaluation, contractor response, and review comments, if any, are retained as part of the evaluation. Because these evaluations may be used to support future award decisions, they should be filed and marked as "source selection information."

Past performance information should not be retained to provide source selection information for longer than three years after completion of the contract.

Past performance collection, evaluation, and documentation processes vary significantly from agency to agency. CORs must determine and comply with specific past performance policies, procedures, and forms prescribed by their particular agency.

General guidance is available in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy's (OFPP) Best Practices for Collecting and Using Current and Past Performance Information (commonly referred to as the OFPP Past Performance Guide). Also see OFPP's Letter of January 21, 2011, Improving Contractor Past Performance Assessments: Summary of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy's, Review and Strategies for Improvement.

Effective July 1, 2002, all federal contractor past performance information (PPI) was made centrally available online for use by all federal agency contracting officials through the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) at Several collection tools will submit data to PPIRS. The database provides the acquisition community timely and pertinent contractor performance information that can be used in making source selection decisions.

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