Program Procurement Guidance

MCC Procurement Guidance Note: Reporting and Considering Past Performance by Contractors in MCA Entity Program Procurements

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Purpose

MCC’s Contractor Past Performance Reporting System, (CPPRS) is used by MCA Entities for contract management purposes and during procurement evaluations. As a contract management tool, MCA Entities prepare a written evaluation of the Contractor’s performance during a given time, including the performance of its individual key professional personnel, to identify what aspects work well and what may require improvement. The finalized report, comprising the MCA Entity’s evaluation, and any comments received from MCC or the Contractor, are filed in MCC’s database. The finalized report is then used as a reference when the Contractor bids on future procurements administered by any MCA Entity.

The CPPRS has proven to be a highly valuable resource to generate constructive discussions between MCA Entities and their contractors during the contract implementation and motivate contractors to perform well under their MCA-administered contracts. A well-written CPPR is beneficial to high-performing Contractors and protects MCA Entities from hiring Contractors that have performed poorly under other MCC-funded, MCA-administered contracts. The CPPRS supports a MCC Program Procurement Principle that states Contracts shall be awarded only to qualified and capable suppliers and contractors that have the capability and willingness to perform the contracts in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable contracts and on a cost-effective and timely basis.

Introduction

A completed CPPR is a formal record of a Contractor’s performance that is shared with the Contractor. This exchange between the MCA Entity and Contractor is a useful way for the MCA Entity to communicate appreciation for good performance or identify performance deficiencies to the Contractor before it’s too late to implement corrective measures. With honest, constructive dialogue, the Contractor may be able to improve its poor rating in an interim CPPR by addressing the MCA Entity’s concerns in the subsequent reporting period. A series of well-drafted CPPRs may aid an MCA Entity in contract disputes or otherwise support future contract actions. Multiple CPPRs with a ‘Poor’ or ‘Unacceptable’ rating may justify contract termination. Conversely, CPPRs demonstrating ‘Very Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ performance, could support a decision to add additional related work to the contractor.

Scope and Applicability

The CPPRS maintains records of contractors’ performance for a given period only for MCC-funded contracts with MCA Entities. For contracts not funded by MCC, the MCA Entity is required to seek references from the bidder’s previous clients during the evaluation stage.

MCA Entities are required to generate and submit CPPRs for consultant services contracts (including individual consultant contracts), goods contracts and non-consulting services contracts valued at USD 200,000 or more and for works contracts valued at USD 5 million or more. CPPRs must be submitted to MCC within two months of contract completion or termination.  For multi-option period contracts, the MCA Entity must have CPPR evaluations completed through the MCC Review stage before exercising an option to extend the contract. For contracts below these thresholds, MCC encourages MCA Entities to prepare CPPRs where it may be useful to document a Contractor’s performance.

Process

A CPPR must be prepared for firms (which includes evaluations of any key professional personnel) and for individual consultants. MCA Entities must submit CPPRs in English using the CPPR forms available in the MCC Procurement Toolkit.

The key steps in the CPPR process are as follows:

  1. All reports must be based on factual information about the performance on the contract.
  2. The MCA Procurement Director (MCA PD) maintains a schedule of the CPPR requirements and alerts the MCA Sector Director (MCA SD), in a timely manner, when the MCA SD should begin to draft the report.
  3. The MCA SD is responsible for drafting the report and holding discussions with the Contractor.
  4. The MCA PD will send the draft CPPR to MCC, and MCC will insert its own assessment of the performance in the report, and return the report to the MCA PD, to be shared with the MCA SD and MCA CEO for revisions, if needed. Neither MCC nor MCA is required to make any changes to each other’s write up, and it is acceptable for the two assessments to be different, though it is preferred that they are consistent so the Contractor could understand the “client’s perspective”. For example, if the MCA Entity writes that the contractor or any of its staff performed poorly and MCC writes that the performance was outstanding, the Contractor would not know if it should take any corrective action or not.
  5. Once MCC returns the report, the MCA CEO can approve and sign the CPPR.
  6. The MCA PD will then send the report to the “Project Director” (or any other senior manager supervising the contract—not to the field team of the contract) for review and comment.
  7. The Contractor is given fifteen (15) calendar days to respond by signing the report, ask questions, meet with the MCA Entity, and/or submit a written response. The MCA CEO will review the contractor’s written response, if any. Based on the Contractor’s response, the MCA CEO may decide to revise the MCA’s evaluation, but is not required to do so. If the Contractor does not respond within the 15 calendar days, the MCA CEO can sign the report and send it to MCC. The MCA Entity shall also send a finalized copy to the Procurement Agent (PA) and to the Contractor for their records.
  8. The submissions to MCC will be emailed to mcccpprs@mcc.gov and to the MCC Procurement Director in PDF format. The reports will be reviewed by MCC for completeness and appropriate content before they are entered into the CPPRS database.
  9. MCC will track and notify MCA Entities that are not in compliance with the submission of CPPRs on a quarterly basis. Failure to file these reports would constitute a violation of the MCC Program Procurement Guidelines (MCC PPG), entitling MCC to exercise its remedies under the terms of the Compact.

Accessing Records

Once filed in CPPRS with MCC for any MCA Entity, the reports are available to all MCAs during the bid evaluation process as a reference, which MCA Entities are required to request for all MCC funded procurements.

Shortly after bid/proposal opening, the PA will request from the MCC PD CPPRs for all bidders that cited past MCC-funded projects in their experience. The PA will present the CPPRs along with other references received to the Evaluation Panel for their consideration. MCC will provide reports only for the period required in the qualification or evaluation criteria. For example, if the bidder is required to have five years similar experience, MCC will provide the reports, all interim as well as final, reports for the past five years, and not longer.

It is worth noting that the CPPRS may not have reports for contracts below the CPPRS contract value thresholds, or for the contracts where the bidder was a subcontractor. If a bidder identifies contracts with an MCA Entity, but a CPPR is not available, the MCA Entity procurement team should contact the relevant MCA Entity (if it is still active) to request a reference.

How to Use Past Performance Information in MCA Procurements

Past performance information is considered at the qualification/evaluation stage of MCA Entity procurements, along with other qualification/evaluation criteria. The essence of the determination at this stage is to assess any negative past performance as part of the risk assessment. If the Evaluation Panel finds that the negative past performance presents a substantial risk to the performance of the contract in any way, it may reduce the bidder’s technical score, or disqualify the bidder and reject the bid/proposal, as stated in the Instructions to Bidders set out in the bidding documents. Some indications of high risk that may lead to rejection include: (1) termination of a contract for cause, (2) multiple poor ratings, and/or (3) a CPPR indicating that the firm should never be hired again.

CPPRs may also provide information about the performance of key professional personnel named in a proposal. If a key professional personnel’s evaluation is particularly poor, the Evaluation Panel may reduce the technical score allocated to that key professional personnel position, or recommend the bidder, if awarded, be asked to replace that individual.

References from other sources may not be available in time for the Evaluation Panel to consider during its deliberations. It is the bidder’s responsibility to ensure that its references respond to the MCA Entity’s request in a timely manner. The PA shall inform a bidder that its references have not responded and give the bidder one or two days to remind its references. The PA is required to make a good-faith effort to obtain references, but if no references are received, this could be considered a weakness of the bidder during the technical evaluation. The following guidance is provided to assist the Evaluation Panels in the use of the bidder’s reference information.

All SBDs require each bidder to furnish documentary evidence that it meets the experience requirements. The process for qualifying bidders for non-QPBS and non-QCBS procurements, and applicants for pre-qualification, is scored on a pass/fail basis. If a reference provides evidence that the firm failed in performance or was terminated on a particular contract, this may be a reason to disqualify the bidder for failing to satisfy the experience requirements or because such a bidder presents a high risk of poor performance based upon its historical performance. In the case where the information received indicates historical poor performance, but not enough to justify disqualification, the BRP may decide to qualify the bidder but highlight areas that need to be addressed during negotiations should the bidder be recommended for contract award. To disqualify a bidder and reject its bid, the MCA Entity shall follow the process laid out in the bidding document.

In the evaluation of proposals for consulting services procurements, and bids submitted for QPBS procurements, experience in similar types of services is generally an important evaluation criterion and the score given to this criterion can be the deciding factor in the award decision. Consequently, it is significant to consider information about the quality of the bidder’s performance in these past assignments. CPPRS report(s) and other references should be distributed to the Evaluation Panel members during the evaluation stage and considered in the evaluation and scoring of the bidder’s, “Organizational Capability and Experience.” Before assigning weight to this criterion, the Evaluation Panel should consider how the information from the CPPRs and references indicates that the bidder performed and score the experience criterion accordingly. In the case where the information received indicates historical poor performance, the Evaluation Panel may reduce the bidder’s technical score. The Evaluation Panel should also highlight areas that need to be addressed during negotiations in case the bidder is recommended for contract award.

Individual Consultants and Key Professional Personnel

For individual consultant procurements, and key personnel included in a proposal, reference information is used to assess the individual’s knowledge and experience related to the services to be provided. The Evaluation Panel should determine if the information affects the determination of whether the experiences have been successful and score the experience criteria accordingly. In the case where the information received indicates a marginal performance, the Evaluation Panel may decide to qualify the consultant or accept the key professional personnel but highlight areas that need to be addressed during negotiation should the consultant be recommended for contract award. For key professional personnel named in consulting services proposals, or in bids submitted for QPBS procurements, if an assessment of their performance is included in CPPRs, this information may be considered in the relevant technical evaluation of “Key Professional Personnel.”

Reference Sources

Bidder-Supplied References

Bidders are required to disclose all contracts with MCC and MCA Entities to which they (including any of their associates or joint venture members) have been a party, whether as a lead contractor, consultant, affiliate, associate, subsidiary, subcontractor, sub-consultant or in any other role. Bidders should submit references, whether for MCC-funded contracts or similar/relevant contracts with other entities, as part of their bid or proposal.

MCC-Provided References

From time to time, MCC staff may be identified as a reference in a bid or proposal submission. However, MCC staff may only provide references for contracts for which the MCC staff member served as the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) or Project Monitor (PM) for MCC headquarters awarded contracts. MCC staff members may not provide references for MCA Entity contracts. Also, MCC is not permitted to share past performance information originating from US Government databases, such as the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) or the Department of Defense Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System with MCA Entities or their PAs.

Protection and Disclosure of Contractor Past Performance Reports and Bidder References

Except as specifically directed otherwise, or allowed, by MCC in writing, no person or entity granted access to CPPRs, or any other summary or other information from CPPRs, may disclose any such materials, or information, to any other person or entity other than those authorized to receive such materials or information in accordance with the MCC PPG. All reasonable precautions must be taken to ensure such materials and information are protected from unauthorized disclosure.