Past Performance Primer

Program managers, procurement officials and the end users of products and services all have responsibilities in rating contractors' past performance.

  • The contracting office, the technical office and the end users of a product or service all must be involved in evaluating a contractor's performance during and after the contract. These evaluations provide past performance information for future contracts and useful feedback for contractors.
  • Rate contractors on quality, timeliness, cost control, business relations, customer satisfaction and key personnel. If the contractor met or exceeded the contract requirements and users still weren't satisfied with performance, the service contracted for may not be desired or needed by the customer.
  • Contractors must be permitted to provide written comments when they disagree with these performance evaluations.
  • When bids are being considered, past performance information should carry as much weight as other non-cost factors such as technical excellence and management.
  • Past performance information can't be kept for more than three years after the contract is completed.
  • You can gather past performance information via face-to-face interviews, mailed questionnaires, telephone interviews, or a combination. Contact at least two references on each previous contract to maintain rater anonymity. Take notes.
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