Although the failed rollout of HealthCare.gov brought attention to how the federal government purchases technology, little consideration has been given to how contractors with poor track records of performance continue to get federal contracts.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Financial and Contracting Oversight Subcommittee, raised this issue at a recent hearing by saying that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “could have avoided a black eye” for the failed rollout of the HealthCare.gov website if the agency had had relevant data on the past performance of CGI Federal.
That raises the question of what is being done to improve data on contractors’ past performance. And perhaps more important, why is past-performance data not being captured properly in the first place?
Last year, the government issued a new rule in an attempt to create governmentwide, standardized contract performance rating and evaluation factors for federal contractors. However, without the metrics and objective performance parameters needed to create uniformity and consistency in the evaluations of a contractor’s past performance, the rule simply continued the current system of subjective ratings by evaluators.
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