For a number of years, there has been a great debate, and many questions in the government contracting world, regarding the practice of contractors receiving performance reviews from their government supervisors.
Twenty years ago, Congress enacted the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) of 1994, which established a statutory basis for agency evaluation of past performance for government contracted staff. For a variety of reasons, many government agencies chose not to evaluate their contractors, and until recently, there were little or no policies being enforced for government supervisory staff who failed to provide performance review.
This lack of direction was a source of frustration to many contractors who felt they were not receiving critical guidance or feedback on the work they were performing for the government. Additionally, increasing numbers of contracting officers have voiced concerns regarding the quality and value of work that was being performed for the government, per the terms and conditions set forth by the contracts.
Last January, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense put out a memorandum which detailed data regarding Department of Defense (DoD) agencies which had given contractors performance reviews. The memo, signed by Richard Ginman, Defense Procurement Director, captured DoD contractor past performance assessment for the first quarter of FY 2013, and listed 23 agencies by name. Some of the organizations, which included the departments of the Navy, Army, and Air Force, were more successful than others in administering contractor performance reviews. The memo clearly stated that by FY 2015, The Office of Federal Procurement Policy is recommending 100% compliance.
Many contractors and government employees are hopeful that the trend toward contractor performance reviews, and detailed feedback, will continue to increase within DoD and other government agencies. Considering the ever increasing budget cutbacks, fiscal constraints, and workforce scrutiny, performance reviews are an invaluable tool in assessing and assuring the best and most capable staff are in place in their given roles.