Contracting Officers within the Federal Government are tasked with negotiating contracts for goods and services with the contractor that is best able to satisfy that particular requirement in terms of quality, timeliness and cost. Best value analysis strives to apply good business judgement to making source selection decisions. It seeks to isolate technical differences between proposals to determine which offer represents the best value to the customer. The Federal Government is steadily moving away from awarding contracts purely on the basis of low price and opting to employ evaluation factors such as past performance, management capabilities and technical superiority. Confidence in a prospective contractor's ability to perform satisfactorily is an important factor in the source selection process making for "best value" analysis. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the difference between experience and past performance in the source selection process of "best value" procurements.
Experience is the active participation in events or activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1988).
In other words it is the process of "learning by doing". It reflects whether a contractor has performed a job that is similar or of "comparable size and complexity". Comparable size and complexity meaning that which is similar in dollar amount; number of client/customer employees services; and number of contractor employees assigned to the contract, and types of services performed. When you consider that every requirement has its own set of problems and pitfalls, it makes perfectly good sense to look at whether a contractor is knowledgeable of where those problems are likely to occur and if the contractor has experience in solving such problems.
Past performance serves as an indication of a contractor's ability to perform virtually any contract. In addition to whether or not a contractor has experience...