On June 28, 2011, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued a proposed rule that, if enacted as a final rule, would standardize past performance review ratings and criterion. This rule is taking advantage of the opportune timing presented by the recent adoption of the government-wide Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (“CPARS”), which acts as a past performance feeder system, into the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (“PPIRS”).

If enacted, the proposed rule would require agencies to submit past performance information in the CPARS at least annually for each contract (including a task-order or delivery-order contract) that exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), with the exception of classified contracts and special access programs. Incentive-fee and award-fee contract performance evaluations and ratings must also be entered into CPARS. These evaluations must then be provided to the contractor “as soon as practicable after completion of the evaluation.”

The proposed rule would also require that evaluation factors include the following (at a minimum): technical or quality, cost control, schedule/timeliness, management or business relations, and small business subcontracting. Furthermore, agencies would be required to use the five scale rating system as described in the CPARS Policy Guide. That system includes ratings of exceptional, very good, satisfactory, marginal, and unsatisfactory. The Policy Guide is available here.

Comments will be accepted on this proposed rule until August 29, 2011. The full text of this rule is available at 76 Fed. Reg. 37704.