If you work in the Government acquisition world, this podcast is for you. (not just for Contracting Officers!)

The Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) has been designated as the Federal Government-wide solution for collection of contractor performance information.

Paul discusses CPARS with special guest Shelley Hall.  Learn how information is collected through CPARS and shared through other tools.

Past performance is evaluated in every Government source selection.  Positive ratings are key to continued awards.  Learn how to challenge inaccurate ratings and why it is important for both Government and Industry to ensure that CPARS contains factual and fair assessments of contractor performance.


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Kevin Jans and Paul Schauer created the Contracting Officer Podcast to help Government and Industry acquisition professionals understand more about how the other side thinks.  Admittedly, the podcast’s name sounds very limiting.  It is not just for contracting officers or even just for those in the contracting profession.  Anyone with an interest in the Federal acquisition world can benefit from the insight and down-to-earth explanations of complicated topics provided by the hosts.

  • Rob Muzzio

    Kevin, Paul, & Shelly, Thank you for sharing this info. It is interesting to hear about CPARs from the Government perspective! You have confirmed my overall thought on this subject. I have been preaching the importance of reviewing, analyzing, understanding, and taking an active role in your CPARs data for 14 years now. Based on your topics, I will share thoughts/things that I have learned while helping companies manage their Federal performance reputation (CPARs):
    * While CPARs are “required by law” and “supposed” to be done yearly for contracts/task orders over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT), not all are…although compliance appears to have risen drastically over the last 2 years. I will update stats and reports on this soon.
    * PPIRS-RC (report card) should be used in evaluations for contracts over the SAT, while PPIRS-SR (Summary Report or Statistical Reporting) should be used for those under the SAT.
    * FAPIIS is used for “Responsibility Determinations” to contain any negative judgements / terminations against each contractor. It also contains the number of CPARs each contractor has (in source selection sensitive system available to each contractor).
    * “Trending” is interesting, and the CPARs in PPIRS used to have a “Past Rating” column in the “Area Rated” Section, but I haven’t seen it in a PPIRS CPAR since the end of 2013, and it was rarely filled in when it was present. The CPARS CPAR should show “Past Rating”. But to compare more than 2 years, you need to do it manually truly show the “trend”.
    * Your discussion on ratings interpretations “hardcore” versus “understanding” is interesting, and why the contractor must communicate with the COR & CO regularly about performance. A source selection official told me that they often read the comments to glean clues as to the type of grader they were dealing with for each CPAR they evaluated, and that they used this when comparing ratings to come up with the past performance evaluation rating.
    * Your discussion described that when evaluation factors are equal, it comes down to price. I suggest that this is why contractors need to ensure they always have the “highest accurate ratings” possible, because “Satisfactory” CPARs will hurt you in a competitive source selection against a competitor’s “Exceptionals”.
    * Important Numbers: 14 – the # of days before CPARs are posted to PPIRS. 60 – the # days to comment, & 3 – the number of years CPARs shall be used (as per FAR 42.1503g) although, as you pointed out the data can stay in PPIRS & FAPIIS much longer than 3 years. Contractors must CHECK CPARS and PPIRS at least every other day to meet the deadlines!
    * Inaccurate data can be changed! Great Point! I have facilitated efforts that changed CPARs that were older than 2 years, because the data was inaccurate.
    * Many CPARs go “unnoticed” by contractors. The telltale sign is the following Comment in your CPAR: “ADDITIONAL/OTHER: The evaluation was delivered/received by the contractor on MM/DD/YYYY. The contractor neither signed nor offered comment in response to this evaluation.” I suggest contractors always comment, so you can tell which ones you have seen!
    * Challenging CPARs – Great Point! Having worked on dozens of CPAR rating challenges, every one resulted in increased ratings, so challenge inaccurate ratings! But it is better to be proactive than reactive! Communications with the right customer at the right time is the key!
    * Every contractor that I have supported has had inaccurate CPAR data and/or CPARs that they didn’t know existed. Be sure to regularly analyze your CPARs to ensure you always have the “highest accurate ratings” possible.

    I am curious to hear what others have learned…Please share your PPIRS/CPARS Tips, Tricks, Experience!

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