[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 221 (Thursday, November 16, 2006)]
[Pages 66782-66783]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-19392]



[OCAO-2006-N01; Docket GSA 2006-0013; Sequence 1]

Proposed Best Practices Guide for Contractor Performance Data 
Collection and Use

AGENCY: Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer, GSA.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Director, Integrated Acquisition Environment Division, 
General Services Administration invites comments on the proposed best 
practices guide, Contractor Performance in the Acquisition Process, for 
the collection and usage of contractor performance data.

DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the 
Integrated Acquisition Environment Division, GSA on or before January 
16, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by OCAO-2006-N01 by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Search for any document by first selecting the proper document types 
and selecting ``General Services Administration'' as the agency of 
choice. At the ``Keyword'' prompt, type in the notice number OCAO-2006-
N01 and click on the ``Submit'' button. You may also search for any 
document by clicking on the ``Advanced search/document search'' tab at 
the top of the screen, selecting from the agency field ``General 
Services Administration'', and typing the notice number in the keyword 
field. Select the ``Submit'' button.
     Fax: 703-872-8598.
     Mail: GSA--Integrated Acquisition Environnent Division, 
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 911, ATTN: OCAO-2006-N01, Arlington VA 22202.
    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite OCAO-2006-N01 in 
all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal and/or business confidential information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT For clarification of content, contact 
Ms. Teresa Sorrenti at 703-872-8610. For information pertaining to 
status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at 
(202) 501-4755. Please cite OCAO-2006-N01.


A. Background

    The enactment of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) of 
1994, made contractor performance information a mandatory evaluation 
factor for all procurements. This is an important factor in making best 
value decisions in the acquisition of goods and services. In order to 
do this, agencies moved out in different directions to share the 
performance data they collected individually. There was no concerted 
effort to share data Governmentwide. It has long been a vulnerability 
that Government agencies would award to a vendor who owes another part 
of the Government money or services, or is in the process of being 
debarred. This was due to the fact that information about performance 
was maintained at the local contracting office level.
    Evaluating contractor performance is also useful as a tool to 
encourage outstanding performance throughout the

[[Page 66783]]

life of a contract. Contractor performance information can leverage the 
use of common contracting events such as option extensions, earned 
value management discussions, and award fee discussions to populate a 
Governmentwide database and reduce the reliance on external steps and 
non-value added processes. As additional value, Government agencies 
could be encouraged to monitor performance and provide evaluations of 
other Government agencies performing on Memorandum of Understanding 
agreements and other interagency agreements. The benefit of this effort 
will result in a unified method of vendor evaluations.
    An Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum dated July 3, 
2002 announced that all Federal contractor past performance information 
currently captured through existing tools would be centrally available 
on-line for use by all Federal agency contracting officials effective 
July 1, 2002. A Governmentwide past performance retrieval database 
supports the Administration's E-Government initiatives to ``unify & 
simplify'' and reduce burden by eliminating collection redundancies. 
Performance data is currently collected in the Past Performance 
Information Retrieval System (PPIRS), which is a web-enabled, 
Governmentwide application. Two of the collection tools have been 
eliminated: Past Performance Information Management System (PPIS) and 
Architect-Engineer Contract Administration Support System (ACAAS). 
Other collection systems are positioned to be turned off in the next 
year. However, it was determined by senior procurement executives that 
a lack of widespread use resulted in insufficient information in the 
Governmentwide shared database. A review of how to streamline the 
collection of data, simplify the evaluations of vendors, and improve 
the value of the data in the Governmentwide database was requested.
    In a memorandum, OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) 
established a working group to re-visit the regulations, policies, and 
business considerations associated with contractor performance 
    During this tasking, the working group reviewed some of the 
thresholds and made the following recommendations:
     The contractor performance information be removed from the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Part 36 and moved to FAR Subpart 
42.15 so that all of the contractor performance information is in one 
location in the FAR.
     Removed the reference ``past'' from contractor performance 
information. Evaluating contractor performance is encouraged throughout 
the life of the contract, not just a completed contract. As such, it is 
useful both as an evaluation factor in awards and as a tool to 
encourage continuous outstanding performance.
     Removed duplications in the FAR guidance.
     Clarified the guidance relating to contractor performance 
     Revisited and discussed the different feeder and retrieval 
    The working group has prepared proposed language for the FAR and 
has updated OFPP's guide ``Best Practices for Collecting and Using 
Current and Past Performance Information'' (June 2002) incorporating 
the Department of Defense's (DOD), Office of the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (Defense Procurement 
and Acquisition Policy) guide, ``A Guide to Collection and Use of Past 
Performance Information'' (Version 3 May 2003).
    OFPP's current guide was a joint effort of agency procurement and 
program officials and representatives from the private sector. The 
techniques and practices used to implement the current and past 
performance initiatives that are discussed in the OFPP best practices 
guide are not mandatory regulatory guidance. They are useful examples 
of techniques for recording and using contractor performance to better 
assess contracts and to enhance the source selection process.
    DOD's guide was a joint effort by members from the DOD Past 
Performance Integrated Product Team. The Team's purpose was to serve as 
a practical reference tool regarding the DOD past performance policy. 
It was designed to articulate the key techniques and practices for the 
use and collection of past performance information for use by the 
entire acquisition workforce in both Government and industry. It 
explains best practices for the use of past performance information 
during the periods of source selection, ongoing performance, and 
collection of information.
    The new guide is entitled ``Contractor Performance in the 
Acquisition Process'' and can be accessed at http://www.acquisition.gov. It also is a joint effort of Federal agency and 
DOD procurement and program officials. In an effort to continue to 
solicit private sector input, it is distributed for public comment. 
This guide is designed to help agencies know their role in addressing 
and using contractor performance information. It addresses the types of 
performance information that exist, resources for finding the data, and 
standards to employ. It discusses best use of performance data 
throughout the acquisition process, from the pre-award and planning 
phase, through source selection, and into contract evaluation.
    The proposed FAR rule reflecting the findings of this tasking is 
currently being processed by the FAR team and will be issued for 
comment at a later date.

    Dated: November 7, 2006.
Teresa Sorrenti,
Director, Office of Acquisition Systems.
[FR Doc. E6-19392 Filed 11-15-06; 8:45 am]