A Note on COVID-19 and CPARS Ratings
If you recently won a contract, or if you are currently performing on a contract, it will be critically important that you communicate with your contracting officer and program personnel about your performance expectations during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Your performance obligations and/or deliverables may or may not change.
In other words, discuss with agency personnel how the current COVID-19 landscape impacts any of your obligations and/or deliverables (e.g., shelter-at-home orders), set or reestablish performance expectations, and get written confirmation (no verbal commitments) from the contracting officer on how she or he wants your team to move forward, including any new performance targets or deliverables. Why?
This time next year, when CPARS are being created, you don't want the "fog of COVID-19" to cloud the agency's perception of your performance during this uncertain time. That is, the performance required for you to achieve an exceptional rating under "normal" circumstances could be different from the performance required for you to achieve an exceptional rating during the current COVID-19 crisis. In addition, if your contracting officer changes between now and then, it will be helpful to have a written record for future reference (if needed).
During this uncertain time, setting or reestablishing performance expectations with the contracting officer and program personnel will be critical for the success of your business. This will not only help minimize any confusion about how your team performed during the current COVID-19 crisis but also will help the agency solidify what it expected from your team (performance, deliverables, etc.).
Remember, stellar CPARS ratings help pave the way to success in government contracting. Even though we are all dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, you don't want a mediocre CPARS rating to hinder your recompete efforts, new contract opportunities, or self-scoring on points-based, governmentwide vehicles.
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