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LM_ABITWT

Questionable CPAR Rating

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I recently received a CPAR on a FFP contract with a Satisfactory rating for Cost Control citing that the prime's (sub)contractor did exceed their funded levels but the prime contractor did not seek reimbursement of the additional expenditures.

We (the prime) billed the entire FFP amount, so how can the Gov't ding us for overrunning the contract price, but not charging the Gov't?

Shouldn't I be entitled to a rating better than "Satisfactory"?

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If it was FPP, the scope was known. Why did the subK overrun?

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LM_ABITWT, Are you equating a "satisfactory" CPARS rating to a past performance "ding"?

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If they had used the FFP CPARs form, they would not rate cost control. Your firm should have been given the opportunity to respond to the report and point out the issue. All reports go to the contractor for comment before going final.

I would consider anything less than outstanding on any element detrimental to my getting another contract. Some "dings" may be proper and some may be improper. The problem with past performance is that it is subjective in the eye of the beholder. The more we use CPARS for source selection, the more protest issues are going to come up.

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received a CPAR ... with a Satisfactory rating ... citing that the prime's (sub)contractor did exceed their funded levels but the prime contractor did not seek reimbursement of the additional expenditures.

...

Shouldn't I be entitled to a rating better than "Satisfactory"?

I have two observations relative to this post:

(1) Did you respond to the Assessing Official's cite regarding funding levels? You have that right within 30 days of receiving the CPARS draft and your contractor response should be considered by both the Assessing Official and the Reviewing Official.

(2) You bring up an excellent point. When did SATISFACTORY become an abhorrent word? While I embrace the notion that all contractors should strive for excellence and that EXCELLENT or OUTSTANDING rating in everything they do, I also am a firm believer in the principle that if everyone is special, no one is special. A satisfactory rating is supposed to mean, both to you and any person reviewing your past performance, that you performed in accordance with the contract. This is a good thing. Excellent / Outstanding and Very Good / Above Average are ratings in CPARS, ACASS & CCASS that should be used to note activity that exceeds expectations. If you deliver the right product at the right time, construct the building you were supposed to construct on schedule, or just simply perform in accordance with your contract, you should be rated Satisfactory. Source selection boards and contracting officers should consider Satisfactory a GO for Past Performance.

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I have to agree with MBrown in his second point. Satisfactory should just be that the item or service was delivered as agreed to in the contract. Any higher rating should have commentary demonstrating what the contractor did that made its performance so good. I believe all vendors start at a satisfactory rating and it is for them to do better or worse. Unsatisfactory should mean that you failed to meet certain conditions in the contract. Any ratings higher should clearly show the actions were a benefit to the Govt./contract.

The fact that your company still delivered the item/service at the specified price means that you satisfactorily met the contract requirement. Besides you said it was a FFP contract so the risk was to your company to deliver the items at that cost.

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Not withstanding the good discussion on what satisfactory means, the DoD CPARS Guide states:

A3.24 Block 18c - Cost Control. (Not Applicable for Firm-Fixed Price or Firm-Fixed Price with Economic Price Adjustment). (Attachment 3, page A7)

You should respond with that point. Presumably the office would then remove the entire discussion about the over-run.

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If it is FFP, how does your CO know the sub overran his cost? And was your subcontract FFP also? or was this a hybrid contract with a cost line item. Was this the only area you were rated SAT?

I understand everyone's points about SAT being good but in the world of competition and past performance trade offs many times SAT is a losing rating. SAT on this CPAR is probably easily explained to an evaluator since it should not have even been on the CPAR of an FFP but SAT in other situations could easily mean you lose even if you have low offer.

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Thanks everyone for providing their input on this topic. I discussed with our Contracting Office (specifically the Reviewing Official) and she agreed that the Assessing Official mistakenly included a rating for Cost Control since this contract was done on an FFP basis. We asked for a change/removal of the SAT rating and the Reviewing Official is proceeding in that manner.

FYI, our subcontract was FFP and the Gov't became aware of the overrun based on discussions during one of our Program Reviews. The Gov't rep recalled that and basically thought they should rate us as SAT.

Thanks again!!!

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