Letter: Educating agency staff better than limiting award fees

Regarding "EPA IG wants fewer cost-plus contract," a reader writes: If the [inspector general] believes that the award fees being earned are too high, the solution is not to limit the number of award fee contracts. The solution is to educate the agency staff on how to write an award fee determination plan, how to develop meaningful metrics, how to set performance standards and how to do the required monitoring.

Having been the [contracting officer's technical representative] on an award fee contract, the hardest part of the job was getting the performance monitors to record the observations on a monthly basis so that when the award fee board comes around, you have meaningful input that can be given to board members so they can come to an accurate evaluation. I've seen other award fee plans that are 100 percent objective but where the measures don't tell the agency what they need to know and certainly don't leave room for the "happy factor." The vendor can meet all of the objective measures but still leave the client dissatisfied.

Agencies also need to recognize the culture change when moving from a level of effort contract to an award fee contract and train their staff for it before the contract starts. A well written/run award fee contract gives the vendor some award fee for meeting the standards but only gives the the majority of the fee when they go above and beyond.

Trish

What do you think? Paste a comment in the box below (registration required), or send your comment to letters@fcw.com (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.