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Found 16 results

  1. Are you allowed to use past performance citations from a JV you are no longer a part of for a proposal? Would you be allowed to cite the past performance at the JV level or would you only be allowed to utilize the past performance your company performed as part of the JV? I cannot find any specific guidance or ruling. Section 868 of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, Public Law 116-283, addressed a common obstacle that small businesses may face when competing for prime Federal Government contracts: possessing qualifying past performance. However, section 15(e)(5) required SBA to establish regulations to allow the small business to elect to use the joint venture's past performance IF the small business has no relevant past performance of its own. Which that is not the case in this situation. Thank you for any information/guidance you can provide.
  2. This is a request for an example of when a CO should document the file not to use past performance. It is not related to any ongoing procurement of mine but it does, in general, pertain to systems contracting. It is a simple question looking for a simple answer, inspired by reading the first few pages of a recent COFC case wherein the lack of a PP factor seemed like just another background fact, stated in passing. When an agency is leaving the technology development phase, e.g., after procuring a “Demonstration of Existing Technology” via BAA, and runs a competition for the design, development, and manufacture of prototypes, would either of the facts that 1) only the BAA demonstrators will compete or 2) the past performance would not be relevant to new technology, be a logical (and defensible), “reason past performance is not an appropriate evaluation factor for the acquisition,” IAW FAR 15.304(c)(3)(iii)? If you think yes, please answer whether or not you also think the principle behind this reason could apply outside of systems contracting, and why. If you think not, give another reason. I am not looking for expert-level advice here. I do not have an active procurement. This is purely a discussion topic to spur thoughts and talk shop about past experiences.
  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. :)
  4. FAR 15.305 says past performance is indicator of an offeror’s ability to perform the contract successfully. This suggests that there may be other indicators. If a RFP uses past performance as an evaluation factor, not a broader factor of "indicators of ability to perform", would it withstand a protest seeking to have the RFP re-written to allow other indicators of ability to perform? The argument is that the evaluation factor is unreasonably narrow.
  5. On my way into work this morning, NPR aired a segment on making better predictions (http://www.npr.org/2016/09/01/492203116/want-to-make-better-predictions-researchers-explore-where-we-go-wrong). The research (http://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations/1074/) was focused on predicting sporting events and in cases where more details were given or required to be assessed, individuals made (some) worse predictions. Disclaimer: I haven't completely read the dissertation (it's an EOFY work day and the dissertation is 200+ pgs...), but I couldn't help sharing due to its applicability to the contractor selection process, which is ultimately a predictive process itself. Assuming these issues/difficulties are also present in the contractor selection process, the large amounts information/data requested from contractors could not only be wasteful (in that it doesn't help the acquisition team make a better decision team) it might actually be harmful (in that it results in a worse prediction). Thoughts?
  6. Hello WIFCON folks, I had an interesting conversation today in regards to past performance evaluations (in the context of FAR part 15). The question is that if an offeror submits past performance that, when evaluated, is determined to be NOT relevant in size, scope, and complexity should this Offeror's past performance be looked at in the context of "Neutral" or not rated favorably or unfavorably per FAR13.305(a)(2)(iv)? I believe that their was a misinterpretation of the FAR and GAO cases today in my discussion. I believe that if an offeror submits past performance to a RFP and that past performance submission was evaluated and determined NOT relevant in size, scope, and complexity, then the past performance would be something less than a default to a "neutral". Maybe a low confidence, no confidence, or even not acceptable (depending adjectival rating). It's fair game in the context of the evaluation. Whereas, an Offeror that has no past performance and submits a proposal that states it has no past performance...... This instance is what I believe the FAR is referring to in FAR 15.305(a)(2)(iv) as an offeror without a record of relevant past performance or for whom information on past performance is not available. Commonsense would lead me to believe that latter was true, then what is the point of even evaluating past performance. It's perfectly OK to allow a company that only has grass cutting experience to build a air craft carrier, right? I have combed through some GAO cases that point to this direction, but nothing that specifically jumps out to say that the if an Offerors past performance, and it was not relevant, than an unacceptable rating is correct. I have looked at Menendez-Donnell & assoc File: B-286599, DA Defense Logistics HQ File: B-411153.3, Zolon Tech, Inc B-299904.2 I thought all of these cases were pretty clear in terms of past performance, but obviously not clear enough for my audience. Thoughts? Any GOA cause that might help?
  7. A solicitation requires offerors to submit Past Performance. It further states that the agency will consider the Past Performance of the offerors' proposed subcontractors if it is submitted. One of the offerors submits a proposal containing the past performance of its subcontractor. The past performance is considered Very Relevant, and the PP surveys are all "Excellent." The evaluators rate the offeror's Past Performance as "Neutral." Why? They say that, because the glowing Past Performance was done by the subcontractor, not the prime, and there is always a general risk that the prime will not be able to manage the subcontractor in such a way as to achieve the same level of high performance (Excellent), the evaluators "downgrade" the overall Past Performance from "Excellent" to "Neutral." Does this sound reasonable?
  8. Offeror Acme submits a timely proposal to a solicitation. Acme's proposal contains a Past Performance (PP) Volume with narrative describing its performance on Three Past Contracts. On Past Contract #1, Acme described it as a $30 million total value contract for 5 years. Acme sends Past Performance Questionnaires (PPQs) to its PP references. Those PP references fill out the PPQs and provide them to the agency. When the agency reviews the PPQs, it finds the reference for Past Contract #1 states that the Past Contract #1 was for $24 million for 3 years. Assume that Past Contract #1 was a commercial contract for a private company, not a government agency. QUESTION: What should the agency do? Should the agency believe the Offeror or the PP reference on what the total value and period of performance was for the contract?
  9. A solicitation stated in Section L that offerors with no "Corporate" PP could submit, if they wanted to, "Key Personnel" PP. Section L further instructed that such KP PP references who filled out the PPQ's had to be a person who had "direct oversight" over that KP. Several offerors who are incumbents submitted KP PP. However, the POC reference they list is the agency CO who is the CO for the current recompete solicitation. For some reason, the offerors did not list the COR/COTR folks. The CO believes himself to have had no "direct oversight" over the KP, which is true, and in fact, he has never even met most, if any, of these people, except some email communications for contract administrative purposes. QUESTION: Can the CO choose to not fill out the PPQs? Or must the CO fill out the PPQ because this would be considered "too close at hand" information?
  10. The solicitation instructed offerors to demonstrate the "relevance" of their Past Performance references/past contract work. The solicitation defined levels of "relevance" by doing X number of units of a certain service "on a monthly basis." Offeror "A" submitted a proposal that said it did 3,000 units per month under a past contract. However, when the evaluators looked at the PPQ submitted by the PP POC, the PPQ said "A" did only 200 units per month. In determining the "relevance" of this PP, should the evaluators base their decision on what the Offeror said in their proposal, or what the PPQ/third party said?
  11. Is it reasonable to find 1 month of Past Performance "relevant"? The scenario is a solicitation where offerors were required to submit past performance references for work that was ongoing or completed within the past 3 years from the closing date of the solicitation. Say Offeror ABC Company submitted only 1 PP reference, and it was for a recently awarded contract on which they had been performing for only 1 month. In Chenega Technical Products, LLC, B-295451.5, Jun. 22, 2005, GAO addressed this scenario where the agency involved found that 1 month of PP was not very relevant: ". . . Chenega does not dispute the fact that its Fort Dix contract had been performed for only 1 month at the time of the agency's evaluation here. Rather, Chenega argues that RFP did not establish as a qualifying factor the duration of prior contract efforts in order to be considered relevant past performance. [*11] The protester also contends that the brief period of performance of its Fort Dix contract should not be a disqualifying factor, inasmuch as performance in the first month is the strongest indicator of the quality of performance for the entire period (Chenega's performance in the first month was successful). By failing to inform offerors that prior contract performance had a durational qualifying factor, Chenega argues, the Army improperly employed an unstated evaluation criterion to the protester's detriment. Although agencies are required to identify in a solicitation all major evaluation factors, they are not required to identify all areas of each factor which might be taken into account in an evaluation, provided that the unidentified areas are reasonably related to or encompassed by the stated factors. AIA-Todini-Lotos, B-294337, Oct. 15, 2004, 2004 CPD P 211 at 8; see Gentex Corp.--W. Operations, B-291793 et al., Mar. 25, 2003, 2003 CPD P 66 at 24. [6] We find the Army's consideration of the duration of Chenega's prior contract efforts as part of the evaluation of the offeror's past performance here was consistent with the stated evaluation criteria. It is self-evident, [*12] we think, that the length or duration of an offeror's prior contract efforts logically relates to both the relevance and quality of an offeror's past performance. See EastCo Bldg. Servs., Inc., B-275334, B-275334.2, Feb. 10, 1997, 97-1 CPD P 83 at 3-4 (finding that an agency reasonably considered contract duration as part of a determination of the similarity of an offeror's past performance); SWR, Inc.--Protests & Costs, B-294266.2 et al., Apr. 22, 2005, 2005 CPD P 94 at 6 (finding that the agency reasonably gave less weight to a prior contract that had been performed for less than 1 year). In evaluating an offeror's likelihood of successful performance, a prior contract effort that is of brief or limited duration is simply not as probative of an offeror's record as a contract for a lengthier period of time. See SWR, Inc.--Protests & Costs, supra." But I cannot find an example fact pattern in a GAO decision where the agency wanted to go the other way: the agency wants to find that 1 month of PP relevant. Based on Chenega, is GAO saying an agency MUST take into account the "short duration" of a Past Performance submission? Would it be "unreasonable" not to take the "short duration" into account?
  12. Question is from the agency's POV: An agency has a solicitation. Offeror A submits a timely proposal. In its proposal, Offeror A lists 3 Past Performance references. The agency emails all 3 references a PP Questionnaire about Offeror A. All 3 references respond by returning the Questionnaire filled out. At this point, the agency CO realizes that 1 of the 3 references turns out to be a proposed subcontractor for the current solicitation by the agency. What should the CO do?
  13. I'm convinced the government's past performance process needs a major overhaul. In theory, it's a good concept. In practice, it's often useless. Just looks at CPARS reports and it's rare to find a bad rating. I've heard many COs say they and program managers don't tell the complete truth because it's too difficult dealing with repercussions. Now here's some refreshing way to address poor contract performance. This is a Steve Kelman commentary on GSA's lease of the Old Post Office Building in Washington DC. http://fcw.com/blogs/lectern/2014/06/trump-develops-old-post-office.aspx This is one key part of his blog It would be interesting to hear the government tell a contractor at the start of a project that delays and other performance problems will be severly critiqued and extensive detailed in the report. So bad performance will be widely published and not dismissed in a brief paragraph with a satisfactory rating. What do you think?
  14. Say there is a solicitation. The basis of award is best value (Tradeoff). Past Performance is one of the non-price factors. The solicitation says the following in Section M for the Past Performance Factor: The Government may consider an offeror’s/joint venture partners’ contracts in the aggregate in the assessment of a confidence rating should the offeror’s/joint venture partners’ past and present performance lend itself to this approach. That is, an offeror’s/joint venture partner’s three contracts may by definition represent only a rating less than very relevant when each contract is considered as a stand-alone effort. However, when these contracts are performed consecutively and/or simultaneously (in part or in whole) and are assessed in the aggregate, the work may reflect greater magnitude of work and complexities and such may be reflected in the confidence assessment rating for the entire team. As a result of the recency, relevancy, and quality assessments of the contracts evaluated, one confidence assessment rating as described below will be assigned to the Past and Present Performance factor. I have never heard of "aggregating" as it is explained above. Can anyone shed light on this?
  15. In ABSG Consulting, Inc., B-407956, B-407956.2 (Apr. 18, 2013), the GAO held that an offeror who is the incumbent contractor is not entitled to "extra credit" in its past performance evaluation rating just for being the incumbent. See http://www.gao.gov/products/B-407956,B-407956.2. But the GAO did not address this question: can the government choose to, if it wants to, give "extra credit" to an offeror for its past performance rating, or any other evaluation factor, such as the technical approach factor, corporate experience factor, just for being the incumbent, and therefore, the offeror who is most familiar with the current workings of that government agency? Would the GAO consider this "reasonable"?
  16. Can anyone think of a reason why past performance would not be considered in a contract award? I always thought that price and past performance was automatically always an evaluation factor and then you added whatever other factors might pertain to the solicitation. Today I saw a solicitation for a service by the Air Force in FBO where it plainly stated that past performance was not a factor and to make it clearer they used italics to state that it would not be evaluated and the only evaluation criteria would be price. What could the protest implications be? There are a number of cases where the government was protested for not adequately evaluating past performance but what if you totally ignore the factor?
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