Using CPARS in Past Performance

One way of enhancing your government past performance evaluations is through a central federal past performance registry called the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS).  It is a Web-based library of unclassified automated CPARS that assesses a contractor’s performance during a specific period of time.

It includes program and contract management data, customer comments, quality reviews, financial information, contractor operations reviews, performance evaluations, and information about awards and earned contract incentives.  Federal agencies can access this data to assess your qualifications.

You can use the CPARS to substantiate your past performance.  But to use CPARS effectively, you must work closely with your government clients to provide key information on a regular basis.  In other words, you cannot expect government agencies to maintain current and accurate evaluations of you through CPARS.

To ensure that your CPARS are accurate and up-to-date, take these steps:

  • Designate someone in your organization to be in charge of maintaining and updating the CPARS.
  • Review CPARS requirements and timelines.
  • Understand rating elements and criteria.
  • Track and document performance metrics.
  • Communicate frequently with government clients about the CPARS.
  • Establish a common understanding with government clients about what constitutes reasonable expectations.
  • Work closely with government clients to complete CPARS in a timely and accurate fashion.

To use CPARS effectively, your organization’s Program Managers must be constantly capturing data and providing your CPAR coordinator with information.  Remember, what you see in CPARS is what the evaluators will see too.  Address any issues with your government clients so that your CPARS are as positive as possible.

Managing CPARS can be a time-consuming task.  But if you want to work with federal agencies, having excellent past performance descriptions is vitally important to getting and keeping government contracts.  Invest in CPARS, and it will pay big long-term dividends for your organization.

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