CPAR’S SYSTEM SCORES A BOGEY IN NEW SURVEY
Few people in government or industry are apparently happy with the current CPARS contractor evaluation system. Contractors don’t like having to wait months for what increasingly seems to be a perfunctory rating. Federal contracting officers don’t like the time it takes to do an evaluation and they, along with the customers they support, question whether the CPARS evaluation actually measures the right things. GovConRx, working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, compiled this information from a recent survey of federal contractors and their customers. There are a variety of suggestions on how to make the evaluation process better. Contractor self-assessments were one popular response, though there are obvious concerns with having companies be the only ones to assess the quality of their contract work. Eighty-four percent of survey respondents supported a “CPARS-Lite” solution for certain fixed price and commercial item contracts, less complex procurements, and those under $500,000. This would allow expedited CPARS ratings and reduce the burden of CPARS reporting across the acquisition workforce. 77% want a closer alignment between CPARS narratives and ratings and the associated quality assurance surveillance plan (QASP), mission objectives and contract outcomes. There may be a real opportunity to streamline the CPARS system so that reports are more meaningful and timely. GovConRx and OFPP are working with several industry associations, including the Professional Services Council and ACT-IAC to follow up on the survey data and develop potential improvements. Interested contractors should make sure that their voices are heard via the associations in which they have memberships.