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    As a contracting shop, what options do we have to document there under performance? A bad CPARS is too harsh at this current moment.


    Answer

    Obviously we want our industry counterparts to be successful in their contracts with us. There is a requirement that needs to be fulfilled and we have determined this company is the best company to do so. So, what do you do when all doesn't go as planned - in your case, a company having staffing issues and finding the right people to actually meet the requirements of the contract? I would agree, you don't want to jump right to CPARS. And some others might be quick to say "terminate them", but what good does that do for either party? There really is no one single answer to this question. A lot is going to depend on the specific nature of the requirement, the contracting officer and their desired course of action, and a number of other variables.

    However, here are a few things to consider: (1) First and foremost, it sounds like you need to make sure that there is good communication with the company. A lot of our issues can be traced back to poor communications, lack of communication, or simple misunderstandings. Make sure that is not the case here. Ensure the right people are involved and the lines of communication are open. (2) No matter how you choose to deal with the issue at hand, be sure to document carefully with whatever path you take. This means to keep careful records of ANY correspondence with the contractor, both coming and going. Consider issuing some sort of corrective action report or plan-forward from the contractor immediately, From our perspective, if things should go south and we need to document the poor performance in CPARS or eventually terminate the contractor, you'll want to have the historical support to help you do so. (3) Don't forget to ensure both parties have consulted and/or utilized any of the clauses/remedies that might already be available in the contract. A lot of our contract clauses prescribe a way forward in certain unforeseen circumstances. The 'differing site conditions' clause is a great example of this. (Although, it doesn't sound like that clause applies in your requirement) Nevertheless, there might be another clause already in the contract that may provide a way forward for both the contractor and the requiring activity. (4) Consider your requirement as a whole - can there be any modifications allowed for (within the scope of the KO's authority) that may help to alleviate the staffing issues such as allowing for more diverse working hours, allowing for multiple/non-traditional shifts, hiring from a more geographically dispersed area? Again, if any allowances are made here, you'll need to enusre that you get adequate consideration in return and consult with legal as you do no want to open yourself up to protests from other interested parties. (5) Finally, although you don't want to jump immediately to CPARS, be sure to use it if the situation does continue to warrant it. If the contractor feels they were assessed unfairly, they will have the opportunity to respond. It can be a very important tool for future source selections - both for your office and other government agencies. Good luck!

     

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