Other than looking at the FAR, I've been having trouble trying to get a grip on the difference between the two. The main thing I'm confused about is which one effects performance. I know Incentive sounds like it would an excellent choice but after reading cost-plus-award, I find it had to tell the difference. Could you provide an easy way to tell the difference?
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You already know to look in the FAR, so additionally you can find an excellent chart comparing all contract types at this link
. However, if we were to boil it down to the one most significant difference between the two it would be this: Use CPIF when there are OBJECTIVE measures of performance against which to determine the incentive payments. Use CPAF when objective measures of performance are not readily available and the contracting officer must make the award fee payments (a type of incentive) based on a fair but judgmental evaluation.