Is past performance working better than we thought?
Does the government’s past performance evaluation system help the government during post-award contract management in terms of performance and/or contract cost more than is often imagined?
I don’t have nearly enough information to answer that question with any certainty, but over the past few months I have picked up a few pieces of information suggesting this may be true.
In January, while the Harvard Kennedy School had a group of GS-15’s in town for a few weeks for an executive education program, I had a long lunch one day with four IT program managers, from both military and civilian agencies, to discuss post-award contract management. It definitely caught my attention when one of the four stated that mentioning to a contractor that some performance problem would threaten their past performance evaluation was generally enough to change the contractor’s behavior. The three others around the table agreed.