A group who shares ideas and experiences employing innovative acquisition practices, collaborative methods and use of Web2.0 technologies to transform federal acquisition.
July 24, 2009 at 11:46 pm #76463
Another hot topic. Steve Kelman’s FCW Blog and interview on FedNewsRadio on Use and “return” of Past Performance Data. What do you think?
July 25, 2009 at 12:45 am #76477
Mary, thanks for sharing this with group members. Fellow contracting professionals, I’d appreciate comments and suggestions following up on my column and conversation on Fed News Radio today about how we can revitalize use of past performance. We need to change the FAR provision allowing contractors to dispute a rating and also to do other things to get more useful and honest info in the system. Past performance should be both a reward for good contractors and a punishment for bad ones — just like how we behave as individual consumers.
Can we get a dialogue going on this? Steve
July 25, 2009 at 7:47 am #76475
PPIRS sounds like a great idea. After a quick Google search, I was able to find it at https://www.ppirs.gov. I had to create a security exception for it, since the certificate wasn’t recognized by Firefox.
As an IT person, I am happy to see that the system looks like it’s totally web-based and easy to access. Every time some new .exe-based tool comes out, we have to test it to make sure it’s not going to crash our agency’s standardized desktop image. If more new tools were web-based, it would make life easier for both users and IT people.
I notice that the only agency required to login using PKI is the DoD. I would love to see this system leverage the Federal Bridge so that users from various agencies can login using their own PKI certificates and not have to create yet another username and password.
July 25, 2009 at 4:00 pm #76473
It would be interesting to do past performance in multiple ways.
Personally I’d love to see the past performance that you see on the web know in places like Angie’s List, Amazon, Ebay, and TripAdvisor. Basically I use them 100% when I need a plumber, a hotel for a trip, a new product. I find the one that has a ton of reviews and 4 to 5 stars. I look at the 5-6 in that range and make a selection. I’m sure it’s very difficult with some of the provisions but it would be great if we had an inside the firewall Angie’s List where people could submit comments/feedback easily.
We still need formal past performance. But I think we should leverage the way past performance is done on the web these days through crowdsourcing and wisdom of crowds.
July 30, 2009 at 3:07 am #76471
Steve, to me it is absolutely crazy that we don’t allow, for smaller contracts, to do past performance very informally the way it’s done in Amazon or eBay. Actually, Part 13 of the FAR specifically authorizes using simplified methods of past performance evaluation for contract actions under $100 K, but DoD, which never met a complex bureaucratic procedure it didn’t like, has not been willing to do this thought the regs authorize it. Target of opportunity for the new Administration.
July 30, 2009 at 11:45 am #76469
I had the pleasure of meeting you a few years ago at GSA in Philadelphia. I have read many of your articles over the years and appreciate your style, honesty and focus on cutting bureaucracy.
I agree with your assessment of past performance and what needs to change. And as you have stated, when the policy folks make a complicated, costly procedure with past performance and other things, the acquisition staff will skip it entirely. In our operation, we ask for past performance in the easiest way possible using all sources available to us. Our main focus is what did the contractor do and how well did he do it?
As a CO for many years, and now as a manager, I have focused on simplifying everything I do with federal acquisition with excellent results for both the contractors and the Government.
However, my constant fear is that more rules, regulations, laws, complicated procedures and agency add-ons hitting the books every year will overwhelm us to the point where we can’t simplify anything. We need to go in the opposite direction, that is, fewer rules and greater simplicity!
Thank you for your continued support of the acquisition community. And thanks to Mary for sharing the article and starting the discussion.
July 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm #76467
I’m all for simplifying where we can. Talk about making information more understandable, more easily accessible and more in tune with our personal lives… I do think the OMB memo “Improving the Use of Contractor Past Performance Information” and the FAR changes are good and needed if only to emphasize the importance and to ensure we in government are giving past performance the attention it needs. Past performance should be a significant consideration in our selection of contractors and we just don’t use it enough today. Another oppportunity for sharing information and increased collaboration across government which can also help us achieve that savings target and get better outcomes.
July 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm #76465
Peter G. TuttleParticipant
Teri mentioned PPIRS in her post. Thanks for doing this. Maybe the recent OMB memo (7/29) on past performance and the recent FAR Rule on mandatory use of PPIRS will serve as an incentive for the PPIRS Program Office (IAE) to generate an interface specification so that contract writing system vendors can integrate agency systems with PPIRS, thus eliminating the need fthe overworked and understaffed acquisition workforce to jump between applications and perform duplicative tasks.
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