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Understand Why Past Performance Matters in Federal Contracting

Close-up view of woman’s eye with silver stars on her face around her eyeWith more than 75,000 small business vendors in the federal marketplace, it’s easy for your company to get overlooked. See how the federal government is required to evaluate your performance as a contractor and how your past performance can lead to contract opportunities in the future with the help of federal branding strategies. Explore tips on avoiding negative reviews and establishing yourself as a competitive federal contractor by building a history of positive performance evaluations or overcoming negative evaluations.

Past Performance in Federal Contracting

Your past performance is more than just your first impression. It’s the official reviews and evaluation reports given by federal officials after you complete contracts with the U.S. government. Your performance is broken down into relevant performance and integrity information.

Here are the facts and reports that are included in an integrity record:

  • Terminations for cause or default
  • Criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings
  • Suspensions and debarments
  • non-responsibility determinations
  • Information on trafficking in persons
  • Termination for material failure to comply
  • Defective pricing determinations
  • Recipient not qualified determinations
  • Administrative agreements issued instead of suspension or debarment
  • Subcontractor payment issues

Whether major or minor offenses, these issues are all reported on your record and can significantly affect your ability to win new contracts and continue to work for the U.S. government.

Many government officials are required to evaluate your performance and use those evaluations as part of hiring or rehiring contractors. The Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) is used to report evaluations. The system is designed to allow government officials to perform the following task:

  • Evaluate performance in an objective way
  • Review integrity information
  • Make an award decision after reviewing relevant performance information

Why Your Past Performance Is Important

Does your company come with a satisfactory performance record? Can the federal government trust you to deliver goods and/or services on-time, on-budget, and up to quality standards? These are just a few of the questions that key decision-makers will be asking as you build a relationship with them. You may have an opportunity to answer these questions with your federal branding materials and capability statement; your previous performance plays a significant role.

While your past performance isn’t the only aspect of your company that’s used to make contracting decisions, it can be a significant element. It’s essential during negotiations if the procurement project exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold.

Tips on Avoiding Negative Performance Reviews

There are steps to take to refute an evaluation of your performance. However, you should also consider ways to avoid these negative reviews in the first place. Here are some tips for handling government contracts and promoting your company as a reliable option for future contracts:

  • Identify top agencies and contracts looking for your expertise
  • Carefully consider the goods and/or services you can offer the federal government
  • Continue to improve the quality, reliability, and efficiency of your goods and/or services
  • Perform internal reviews to catch pricing, scheduling, or quality issues before providing subpar goods and/or services

Plan Ahead to Make a Strong First Impression

Don’t let your past define you as a federal contractor. Contact us at Rafael Marrero & Company to discuss your past performance. Identify ways to plan to create a solid first impression or to overcome a negative performance review.

Dr. Rafael Marrero

A nationally recognized expert in federal contracting, small business entrepreneurship, vendor, and project/program management. A graduate of the prestigious Stanford and Cornell Universities, Dr. Rafael Marrero is a former Fortune 500 procurement executive, two-time Inc. 500 honoree, network news commentator, and Amazon best-selling author.

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