Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

charles

Letter of Recommendation for Contractor

Recommended Posts

Customer receives services from KTR. Customer is happy. KTR wants customer to write letter of reccomendation.

Are customers allowed to write letters of rec? Are there any issues with this? What are your thoughts? If possible, references would be great.

Best regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see a problem with it. Many agencies require offerors to have their past customers complete past performance surveys so this information can be used in source selections. Asking for a letter of recommendation would be the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice is don't literally write a "letter of recommendation" which implies a blanket endorsement and sent to unspecified individuals. There's nothing wrong about writing a letter to the company stating they performed well on a specific contract and congratulating for a job well done. Often these letters mention specific contractor employees.

The problem is you don't know where and how a blanket type endorsement might be used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "customer" may write anything that he or she wants as a private citizen, but not in his or her official capacity as a representative of the government on government stationary. Any such letter should be vetted in accordance with agency procedures and should, as a minimum, be reviewed by the contracting officer and agency counsel. The letter should not make any "recommendation." It should simply report the government's (not the individual government employee's) assessment of the contractor's performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't see a problem with it. Many agencies require offerors to have their past customers complete past performance surveys so this information can be used in source selections. Asking for a letter of recommendation would be the same thing.

I have written numerous past performance surveys for firms I was the COTR for but never to the firm only to the agency requesting the survey. I would never give anyone a blanket letter of recommendation because I would not know how they intended to use it, i.e. going into a field they had never ventured before and using me as a reference. I won't want to be involved with anything like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are with DoD, see DoD Manual 1400.25, subchapter 415. It states that it is DoD policy not to recognize private citizens or private entities that have a commercial or profit making relationship with the Department, unless the contribution is substantially beyond that specified or implied in the terms of the contract establishing the relationship, or the recognition is in the public interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you are with DoD, see DoD Manual 1400.25, subchapter 415. It states that it is DoD policy not to recognize private citizens or private entities that have a commercial or profit making relationship with the Department, unless the contribution is substantially beyond that specified or implied in the terms of the contract establishing the relationship, or the recognition is in the public interest.

That's good to know information Joel, but just for clarification do you mean subchapter 451? I can't find subchapter 415, but SC451.15.2.2. states, "Persons or organizations having a commercial or profitmaking relationship with the Department of Defense or with a DoD Component shall not be granted recognition, unless the contribution is substantially beyond that specified or implied within the terms of the contract establishing the relationship, or the recognition is clearly in the public interest."

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's good to know information Joel, but just for clarification do you mean subchapter 451? I can't find subchapter 415, but SC451.15.2.2. states, "Persons or organizations having a commercial or profitmaking relationship with the Department of Defense or with a DoD Component shall not be granted recognition, unless the contribution is substantially beyond that specified or implied within the terms of the contract establishing the relationship, or the recognition is clearly in the public interest."

Thanks!

Yes, jtoli, you are correct. I quoted an article that I received in the mail, Saturday from my old Office of Counsel. The numbers in the article are transposed. I tried to find the subchapter, too and was unsuccessful. Thought it was my Internet skills. Thanks for the correction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know of any across-the-board rule against writing a letter of commendation for a contractor. In fact, DOD expressly permits such a thing. See Office of Secretary of Defense, Honorary Awards Guide, October 2008, p. 4:

Contractors are not eligible for an OSD-level award; however, can be recognized with a letter of commendation, or a certificate of appreciation, or other certificate-based recognition.

However, such things should go through official channels. Why? Because you may not know that while writing your letter of recommendation the Inspector General or Department of Justice is investigating the contractor. In that regard, I love the following quote, from Matter of Dunton, HUDBCA 92-7392-D10 (May 19, 1992), 1992 WL 110307 (H.U.D.B.C.A.):

Dunton asserts that, during his thirty years in the contracting business, he has established a reputation for quality work, responsibility, and professionalism. In support of this assertion, he has submitted eleven letters of commendation, praise, and thanks from individuals for whom he has completed projects. The letters date from 1972 to 1987; none make any reference to Dunton's criminal activity which is the subject of this proceeding.

Only a fool would write a letter of commendation or recommendation for a contractor without first going through the proper channels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know of any across-the-board rule against writing a letter of commendation for a contractor. In fact, DOD expressly permits such a thing. See Office of Secretary of Defense, Honorary Awards Guide, October 2008, p. 4:

I thought this was written for contracted employees and not the company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least in the Army, we advise against agencies or directorates issuing letters of recommendation or recognition of contractors or contractor employees, and recommend that such matters be left within contracting channels. This minimizes the possibility of conflicting descriptions of contractor performance and the possibility that the agency or directorate runs afoul of ethical or fiscal policy. With regard to ethics, see 5 CFR Sec. 2635.101(B)(8): "Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual." From a fiscal standpoint, there is no statutory authority (at least in DOD) to use appropriated funds to purchase awards to give to contractor employees (we often see commander's coins being given to contractor employees as an award device - if the coins are purchased with APF, that would be improper).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×