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  1. I'm with DOE. We had selection procedures that included confidence assessments but changed those recently in favor of simple strengths and weaknesses. We took care of recency by only requesting/evaluating the past X years of past performance information and sum up with an adjectival rating for the offeror that combines relevancy and strengths/weaknesses.
  2. Thank you for your insight, Vern. Much better put than various legal articles and cases I've been reading. I think my agency is trying to have their cake and eat it too. A few years ago they nixed "Experience" as a separate evaluation factor en lieu of Past Performance as a stand-alone factor comprising both assessments you reference. So it becomes a multi-step process where we first determine "relevance", and then determine whether there are Strengths or Weaknesses associated with that relevant performance. So the first step would be (A) experience, and the second step would be (B) past performance, even though Step (B) only happens when a contract is rated well in step (A). What I'm hearing from you is a suggestion that complexity should be evaluated hand in hand with scope, and space should be provided for offerors to describe those unpredictable conditions or events, along with their responses/corrective actions, to demonstrate how those conditions might be similar to the proposed scope of work/environment.
  3. In my agency, standard practice for past performance (PP) evaluation involves first determining the relevancy of past performance information to the proposed scope of work. We do this by evaluating the size of the PP contract, it's scope (by reviewing proposal information or finding the PWS), and the PP contract's "complexity". Size and scope have their own definitions, but I want to focus on complexity. Complexity is generally defined in the RFP as "performance challenges", which vary from RFP to RFP and could include subcontractor management, management of large complex contracts in highly regulated industries, cost efficiencies, etc. This results in separate documentation in our evaluation report speaking specifically to how the scope may or may not be relevant, and then how the complexity may or may not be relevant. Background: My agency requests that offerors provide a few pages of information on two or three selected past performance (or "reference") contracts to aid in evaluation. This includes discussion of scope relevance and complexity relevance, which are separate entries on the provided form. We then evaluate other past performance information that is available to us. My question to the forum is whether other agencies regularly evaluate the complexity of past performance contracts separate from scope (from my readings of GAO and COFC decisions, it seems to be a fairly standard practice), and whether or not evaluating complexity adds value. In my experience: Lesson learned: Complexity is generally not a discriminator in relevancy determinations Root Cause: The RFP definition of complexity as “performance challenges” nearly always comes in the context of scope, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Offerors can struggle with the concept and implementation of complexity into reference contract information forms, when separated from a discussion on how a given contract is relevant to the scope of the proposed PWS. Complexity is difficult and time-consuming to evaluate when reviewing non-reference contracts. The acquisition community has used the phrase "size, scope, and complexity" for decades without carefully considering what they mean and how they each aid evaluation. Recommendation: Study the potential effects of removing complexity as an independently evaluated item in the past performance relevancy evaluation. SEB’s can still include complexity as a part of the scope relevancy evaluation. For example: “Contract relevance will be determined based on size and scope, including complexity.” Conclusion: SEB’s can safely rely solely on size and scope to determine relevancy. RFP’s can still solicit examples performance challenges in the scope description. Eliminating separate complexity determinations would streamline the relevancy evaluation process. Is "size, scope, and complexity" standard language in your RFPs? How do you approach complexity? Do you agree or disagree with my points and why? Thank you in advance for your thoughts. Note that I am not an 1102, but can pick my way around the FAR when I need to. Please be gentle. :)
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