Make your past performance count

Does your past performance lack sufficient size, scope, and complexity similar to the work to be performed in the RFP?

Agencies are increasingly relying on past performance as a key evaluation criteria to select contractors as a way to lower their acquisition costs. Here are a few guidelines to help raise your evaluation score.

  • Select projects that are relevant to the current request for proposal.
  • Verify that the former client is willing to provide a positive performance review, and that you haven’t recently over-burdened them with similar requests.
  • If the past performance was negative and you want to include it anyway, you should indicate the corrective action that was taken to fix the problem.
  • It is a good idea to notify former clients that you have included them as past performances references.
  • Obtain current contact information for the contracting officer or other point of contact to include in your project summary write-up. Also, verify the accuracy of the information being presented. Don’t indicate Oracle DB experience when it was SAP.

Here is an example of one organization’s past performance template:

5 - PastPerformanceTemplate

Failure to adequately demonstrate that you have performed similar work on contracts of the size, scope, and complexity of effort required by the RFP, (i.e., relevant past performance) will also make you non-compliant and may result in the rejection of your proposal. If the RFP specifies past performance only from the prime contractor and you do not have the minimum number (usually three contract references within a three- to five-year period), you shouldn’t bid. If past performance includes the prime contractor and subcontractors, you can use relevant past performance from your subcontractors to meet requirements, as long as subcontractor past performance, when combined with you company’s past performance, meets the relevance criteria required by the RFP.

– Mike Lisagor & Ellen Perrine, AOC Key Solutions


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