On May 9, the Department of Defense Inspector General (“DoD IG”) released Audit Report No. DODIG-2017-081, Summary of Audits on Assessing Contractor Performance: Additional Guidance and System Enhancements Needed (the “Audit Report”). The audit identified weaknesses within the DoD’s contracting officials’ preparation of contractor Performance Assessment Reports (“PARs”) and potential improvements to the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (“CPARS”).

Because of insufficient training, lack of internal controls, and ineffective procedures for timeliness and PAR review, DoD contracting officials sometimes failed to: (i) write sufficient narratives to defend past performance ratings; (ii) properly rate past performance evaluation factors; and (iii) prepare sufficient contract effort descriptions.

The audit highlights that contractors must be proactive in their efforts to ensure the accuracy of PARs; a contractor’s reputation with agencies is vital to any contractor’s success. To guarantee the right to appeal an inaccurate PAR, the contractor must file a claim with the contracting officer in accordance with the Contract Disputes Act. Without that claim, and the contracting officer’s ultimate denial of that claim, the Board of Contracts Appeal or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims will have no jurisdiction over the challenge.

The Audit Report is a strong reminder that contractors, and their counsel, must be conscious about how executive agencies evaluate contractors’ performance. To read more click here.