Should past performance be used as a sub-factor to a proposal's technical evaluation or should it be separated as a stand alone evaluation factor in lowest priced technically acceptable (LPTA) source selection procedures?
The question regarding the use of contractor Past Performance as a stand alone factor or sub factor was asked on 5/26/2011 and answered at https://dap.dau.mil/aap/pages/qdetails.aspx?cgiSubjectAreaID=3&cgiQuestionID=110325
This posted answer is current and correct.
Additional guidance can be found in GAO protest decisions Olympus Building Services B-282887 August 31 1999; Mack Mechanical B-294658.2 April 27, 2005; Morgan-Keller B298076.2 August 1, 2006; and American Construction Co. B-401493.2 October 16, 2009.
GAO has consistently maintained that agency acquisition officials should have broad discretion in selecting evaluation factors and sub factors that will be used in the selection process. What is critical is that the factors used and evaluation scheme are both reasonable and related to the acquisition. See FAR 15.305(1)(a)(2)(i).
Past performance is only one of several possible factors which can be used to predict contractor success.
However, if you are not using a sealed bid approach mandated at FAR 36.103(a),
it can only be due to the fact that one or more of the conditions at FAR 6.401
are not present. Invariably construction contracting accompished outside of a sealed bid environment is due to the complex nature of that particular project which requires discussions. In this case, past performance provides a significant indicator of future potential success and for that reason past performand is, almost without exception, used as a stand-alone factor containing several project specific sub-factors.