Federal agencies have been directed to set “aggressive performance targets” to improve collection and use of information about contractor performance.

In a memo to agency Chief Acquisition Officers (CAOs) and Senior Procurement Executives (SPEs) Joseph Jordan, head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), underscored the importance of collecting and using information on contractor performance and integrity.  Assessing government contractors’ performance “is critical to informing source selection and award decisions and ensuring the government builds relationships with high-performing suppliers,” he said.

Jordan stressed that efforts by OFPP working with agency acquisition officers and procurement executives have developed new management tools to provide contracting officers with valuable contractor information to help them make selection and award decisions.  Now, Jordan said agencies must increase the use of these tools”to avoid poor acquisition outcomes in the future.”

The memo sets three goals for agencies to improve the collection and use of contractor performance information:  1) set aggressive performance targets; 2) establish a baseline for reporting compliance; and 3) guarantee workforce training.

OFPP has set minimum targets, over three years, for CFO Act agencies to fully comply with the requirement to report performance information into the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS).  Targets vary for agencies depending on their current level of compliance.  However, in all cases, agencies must reach full compliance by September 30, 2015.

To assist agencies to meet their targets, OFPP requires agencies by April 15, 2013 to establish a performance reporting baseline (based on cumulative data in PPIRS form FY2009 to 2012), set “aggressive targets” to meet their three-year compliance goals, and report quarterly updates on the MAX website.  The MAX website includes metrics from the PPIRS Compliance Metric Report.  Agencies are directed to review their internal collection and assessment policies.  

The memo also directs CAOs and SPEs “to ensure that their acquisition workforce is knowledgeable of the past performance regulations and procedures.”  Agencies should update their past performance guidance and ensure that their acquisition data quality plans stress the need for continuing improvement in contractor performance and integrity information.

Agencies are also encouraged to utilize training courses, such as those offered by the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) and Defense Acquisition University (DAU), to help the acquisition workforce “understand their unique roles in assessing and evaluating contractors.”  These courses (listed in an attachment to the memo) also offer training for acquisition certification programs.