“Among some contractors, it’s taken as an article of faith that even a single negative Contractor Performance Assessment Report will effectively preclude the contractor from winning new government work.
While it’s undoubtedly true, in my opinion, that some Contracting Officers place too much emphasis on a single less-than-perfect CPAR, it’s also true that a contractor with multiple negative CPARs can still win government contracts, so long as the government reasonably believes that the contractor can successfully perform the new work. Case in point: a recent GAO bid protest decision upholding an award to a company with nine (count ’em!) recent, relevant and negative CPARs.
GAO’s decision in Aviation Ground Equipment Corporation, B-417711.2, B-417711.3 (May 3, 2021) involved a Naval Air Systems Command solicitation seeking land-based mobile electric power plants. The solicitation was a small business set-aside and contemplated the award of a single IDIQ contract…”
“GAO wrote that ‘the contemporary record shows the Navy considered the past performance information discussed by the protester.’ While the Navy’s evaluators noted the negative CPARs, ‘the agency also noted that Essex assigned a new engineering team in 2016 that has significantly improved its performance on Navy contracts, including a very relevant Navy contract for similar mobile electric power plants.’ The evaluators also found that Essex’s Navy CPARs since 2017 ‘have been uniformly satisfactory’ and that Essex ‘proposed the same engineering team for this procurement.’…”
“The Aviation Ground Equipment Corporation case is a good reminder that negative CPARs are not necessarily a death knell for a contractor. While some agency officials might give a negative CPAR undue weight, others–like the Navy’s evaluators here–will look beyond the scores. Corrective measures, like the new engineering team Essex assigned, may help demonstrate that the issues behind a negative CPAR are unlikely to reoccur…” Read the full article here.
Source: Agency Properly Awarded Contract to Company with Nine Negative CPARs – By Steven Koprince, June 7, 2021. SmallGovCon.