Avoid Costly and Painful Mistakes that Other Government Contractors Make With Performance of Contract Ratings.
As a federal government contractor, your contractor past performance evaluation is recorded by having CPARS ratings under FAR Part 42. The Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) might allow for valid reasons why the agency may have given you a negative CPAR rating. However, there are also unlawful reasons.
The past performance evaluation system (PPIRS) is intended to develop a paperless reporting system that allows federal contractors to review and dispute information they believe is not accurate.
How you respond in your CPAR Contractor Performance Assessment Report is a very important factor when anticipating how the results turn out. Meeting the factual and legal basis for appealing your past performance of contract ratings starts at the contractor comment phase.
What are CPAR Ratings Under FAR 42?
As you perform a federal contract, your CPAR ratings serve as a way of the government agency to let you know how you are performing the contract. Past performance ratings communicate strengths and weaknesses.
As a DOD contractor, you must be alert and quickly challenge your past performance of contract evaluation, if the reported information is incorrect.
- Challenging your CPARS ratings under FAR 42 can be an uphill battle if you do not act quickly.
- Waiting until you get an adverse bidding decision can be too late.
Under FAR 42, Types of CPAR ratings Include:
- Final, and
What is the Process For Challenging Your CPAR Contractor Performance Assessment Report?
What are the FAR performance of contract assessment thresholds for evaluating contractor performance on federal government contracts? DOD contractors should first go the through the agency CPARs reporting process. When the Agency sends you your past performance ratings report electronically, you should immediately respond with facts and evidence to support why your CPARS scores are unreasonable and unjustified.
- General statements will not suffice when disputing your CPARS evaluations;
- You must provide specific details and attach evidence to support your disagreement.
- Developing CPARS contractor performance evaluation comments without the adequate factual and legal evidence can lead to disastrous results on appeal
- Meeting the legal requirements of the Contract Disputes Act and submitting a claim to the government is where most contractors run into the most dangerous mistakes.
- If you do not correctly challenge the CPARS ratings at the agency level, the appellate court can dismiss your case for lack of jurisdiction.
The CPARS reporting process allows you to supplement the response. Simply ask the contracting officer in writing if he or she allows such additions. If the answer is no, then make sure that you have the question and answer in writing. This could potentially serve well if you have to appeal to Contracting Officer’s Final Decision (COFD).
- The CPAR reporting system allows for a Reviewing Official to intervene and make an independent assessment of the dispute and then make his or her final decision.
What Happens After You Submit Your Contractor Performance Evaluation Comments to CPARS
After responding to CPARS evaluations with your performance evaluation comments, the agency must make a final determination, usually at a level above the contracting officer. When you receive the final agency decision, you have to then submit a Contract Disputes Act Claim to the contracting officer. This is the second area where contractors put their case in jeopardy.
- Contract Disputes Act claims have very specific legal requirements
- Failure to meet them will cause grief and disappoint at the appeals level
- You cannot go straight to the appeals court without submitting a contract claim to the agency
Waiting until after you submit a new proposal is too late: The problem with CPARS ratings is that many contractors, after realizing that they have lost a current bid due to a less than average past performance assessment evaluation, also realize that they are in a precarious position because it could be too late to challenge the CPAR ratings in question.
Once the agency goes through the CPARS reporting process, and the agency head makes a final determination, you should then file a Contract Disputes Act Claim, and request a contracting officer’s final decision. Only then can you appeal the agency’s decision to an appeals court.
Importance of a CPARS Evaluation Claim Under the Contract Disputes Act
As a federal contractor, you should first understand that the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) requirements by their very nature can be confusing. Having the proper professional help is always advisable because courts have ruled on many contract claims where the contractor’s claim did not even meet the basic requirements of the Contract Disputes Act.
Many contractors often use traditional corporate attorneys to prepare the CPAR rating response and the CDA claim. Sometimes, the appellate court will dismiss the case simply because the procedural requirements are not met. The result is that the contractor, usually a small business, is still stuck with a negative CPARS Rating and is also harmed when trying to bid on future federal government contracts.
When Should the Agency Develop CPARS Evaluations? Government contracting agencies must use the CPARS Reporting System because it helps future contracting agencies to evaluate contract performance during the source selection phase. Also, agencies should a complete contractor performance assessment report / CPARS Reports 120 calendar days after each assessment period.
For additional questions about, contractor ratings, performance of contract and challenging CPAR ratings under FAR 42, call our government contract claims attorneys at 1-866-601-5518 for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.