There’s long been a mechanism in place for federal buyers to check past performance of contractors using the GSA schedule. But, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had complained in a report that its use was only “minimal”. That’s about to change.
New rules make it mandatory that buyers complete performance evaluations of federal contractors whose projects reach a certain cost thresh-hold. The thresh-holds vary, depending on the nature of the contract, but the dollar amounts are not large. Any contract terminated for default, regardless of size, will have to be reported to the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS).
The new rules are not a surprise, and not the result of new emphasis on transparency. They’ve been in the works for some time now. Larry Allen of the Coalition for Government Procurement told Government Executive , “So long as there continues to be a place where contractors can rebut what they believe to be a spurious evaluation, I think most contractors saw this one coming and will take it in stride.”
Smart contractors, first, will make sure their performance will stand scrutiny and that buyers are pleased. And, they’ll do whatever possible to help buyers file their performance evaluations. This has potential to create a burden on buyers…another report to fill out. They’ll appreciate the good work, not only in performing per the contract, but in making it easier for them to report.