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Course Descriptions









Course #400 - Service Contracts Quality Assurance (Basic)

This course is the replacement course for Course 451 - Air Force Service Contracts Quality Assurance, which has been revised and updated to be applicable to all DOD facility operations and support services contracts. It is an introductory quality assurance course designed for Contracting Officerҥpresentatives (COR), and other functional personnel with contractor monitoring responsibilities. Contracting personnel are also encouraged to attend. It includes as references extracts from the web based guide to PBSA, "Seven Steps to Performance-Based Services Acquisition" and applicable quality clauses from the Federal Acquisiton Regulations. The text has been updated to reflect current guidance and includes extensive coverage of Commercial Item acquisition procedures and conforms entirely with FAR Subpart 37.5 and 37.6. The course materials are specifically tailored to the needs of DOD Contracting Officer's Representatives assigned surveillance responsibility for one or more facility support services contracts. A sample contract is provided with the course manual and is the subject of several practical exercise for the course.

Day one: The basic references are covered with emphasis on the contents of the referenced materials. An overview of the procurement process is provided, the roles of the various participants in service contract administration are covered, and the role of COR personnel is emphasized along with a discussion of the QA file and its importance. The commercial item contract format is identified, and the pricing schedule, Performance Work Statement , and selected clauses are covered in detail as they relate to the structure of a service contract. The importance of the Requirements Summary and the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) are discussed and the need for consistency among the pricing schedule, Performance Work Statement, and the QASP is emphasized. Design and performance specifications are defined and their use in service contracts is discussed. In a practical exercise, the student is asked to identify design specifications and convert them to performance specifications where appropriate.

Day two: Job Analysis as a formal tool and "performance" analysis as an informal tool for identifying mission functions to be contracted out are discussed. The contents of the Service Delivery Summary and Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan are described in detail and examples are reviewed in class. As noted in the new PBSA approach to quality assurance, the emphasis is on problem prevention and not detection. The use of customer complaints, and periodic inspection in validating contractor quality data is emphasized. Partnering with the contractor to develop and maintain meaningful quality metrics is addressed. The traditional methods of surveillance, including Random Sampling and 100% Inspection are defined and discussed. The criteria for selecting a surveillance method are discussed. Requirements for preparing a Performance Work Statement are discussed along with the need for appropriate performance indicators and performance objectives, standards, and thresholds. Emphasis is on adopting commercial standards where they exist. Contract types are defined and explained in terms of both compensation arrangement and delivery arrangement. In a practical exercise, the students prepare a simple performance-based Performance Work Statement.

Day three: The quality assurance contract clauses are reviewed and pertinent QA terms are defined and discussed, including the need for receipt inspection in simplified acquisitions and commercial item acquisitions. Requirements for Contractor Quality Control are discussed and procedures for review and approval of the contractor's Quality Control Plan are explained. In a discussion of quality assurance methods and procedures, the types of surveillance are explained in more detail and exercises are used to demonstrate the use of the various methods of random sampling. A computer based random number generator is demonstrated. Practical exercises provide practice in selection of a surveillance method.

Day four: Procedures for preparing the Performance Plan or QASP are discussed along with guidelines for determining performance objectives, standards, and thresholds, and appropriate methods of surveillance. In a practical exercise, the students prepare a Performance Plan or QASP for the sample PWS previously prepared. The requirements for scheduling surveillance are discussed along with procedures for observing contractor performance, documenting the results, and evaluating the overall results for the period of observation for overall Quality Control by the contractor.

Day five: Day five ends at noon. The morning is devoted to a review of various current service contract documents downloaded from FedBizOps. The contents of a representative contract package are identified as the Government Cost Estimate, the Performance Work Statement, the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan, and the Bid Schedule. Surveillance procedures and required reports and documentation are discussed. The course is concluded with a review and critique of the class.



Course #441 - Performance Monitoring by Attribute Sampling

This course is the replacement course for Course #450 - Air Force Service Contracts Surveillance Methods & Procedures. It has been revised and updated to be applicable to all DOD facilities operation and support services contracts. It is designed for DOD personnel assigned as Contracting Officer's Representatives (COR) and other functional personnel with facility operations and support services contract administration responsibilities. This course introduces a new approach to performance monitoring called "Attribute Sampling" which is a way to formalize what is often referred to as "walk through inspection", "spot checks", or "periodic validation." The text is fully compatible with current regulatory requirements and DOD service contracting guidance. The course materials are specifically tailored to the needs of Air Force, Army, and Navy personnel responsible for performance monitoring, surveillance, and certification of contractor performance. A sample contract is reviewed in class and is used in multiple practical exercises during the presentation.

Day one: A brief discussion of the basic references is followed by a more in-depth discussion of the requirements for Performance-Based Services Acquisition (PBSA). In a basic procurement overview including the highlights of service contracting requirements a base line is established for discussion of performance monitoring. Topics covered include acquisition procedures, types of contracts, types of specifications, and the acquisition team roles and responsibilities. Next the structure of a contract is addressed with emphasis on the requirements package including the bid schedule, the performance work statement, the services requirements summary, and the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan.

Day two: Performance values and their uses in the evaluation of contractor quality control are discussed in detail as are the requirements for government contract quality assurance. The legal and contractual aspects of quality control and quality assurance are covered, including a discussion of FAR Part 46 and use of the standard inspection clauses in Commercial Item acquisitions. Contractor quality control requirements in service contracts are discussed in detail along with procedures for the evaluation of contractor quality control. The procedures cover contracts that do not require written contractor quality control programs as well as those that do. A sample requirements work statement for a written "Contractor Quality Control Program" is reviewed.

Day three: In a discussion of quality assurance methods and procedures, the types of surveillance and their uses are explained in more detail. The procedures for random sampling are explained and practical exercises are used to demonstrate the use of two methods used by DOD activities. A web based random number generator is demonstrated in class. Procedures for use of random sampling with an unknown lot size are discussed and illustrated in the text. A template for the preparation of a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan is reviewed in class.

Day four: Procedures for preparing a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan are discussed along with guidelines for determining performance attributes and standards used in the plan and appropriate methods of surveillance. The importance of partnering with the contractor to establish realistic expectations for service outputs to meet the specified performance standards and thresholds is emphasized. In a practical exercise, the students prepare a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan for a sample work statement. The requirements for scheduling surveillance are discussed along with procedures for observing contractor performance, documenting the results, evaluating the overall results for the period of observation and certifying contractor invoices for payment.

Day five: Day five ends at noon. The morning starts with a continuation of the previous day's practical exercise which is then critiqued in classroom presentations. In the final session some important contract administration issues are discussed, to include data monitoring, contract modifications, contract interpretation, remedies, delays, stop work, government property, contract terminations, protests, and claims. The course is concluded with a review and critique of the class.


Course #443 - Performance Work Statement Writing and Quality Assurance

This course is designed for Contracting and functional personnel who may be responsible for preparation of the requirements package for a service contract and for oversight or the administration of any resulting contract . Sample electronic files (DVD) for SOO, PWS, and QASP/Performance Plan documents as well as all reference documents identified in class will be provided for students to retain.

Day one presents an overview of the PBSA approach to service contracting. The unique terms and definitions are presented and the structure of the contract is demonstrated through the use of examples and discussion. The legal and contractual aspects of specifications are covered along with a detailed discussion of the differences between design and performance requirements. The design and performance requirements discussion is reinforced in a practical exercise.

Day two addresses the systems approach to job analysis for identifying requirements. Each step in the process is illustrated with a handout which is discussed in class. PBSA performance analysis is identified as a tool for identification of specific contract performance objectives and related performance standards for all important performance attributes. Emphasis is placed on development of a Work Breakdown Structure as the basic framework for analysis performed. For each required service, the need for performance standards and objectives and an overall performance threshold is identified. The difference between a performance objective and a performance threshold is explained and discussed in detail.

Day three covers the requirements for a Performance Work Statement (PWS) and a Statement of Objectives (SOO) and discusses when to use one or the other. Development procedures for both the PWS and SOO are addressed in detail. First, developing drafts of the Requirements Summary and the contract pricing schedule as preliminary steps to writing the Performance Work Statement is covered. A recommended standard format for the Performance Work Statement is covered along with a general discussion of the contents of each paragraph. The general principles for writing a Performance Work Statement are covered and a notional guide Performance Work Statements is reviewed in class. Next, requirements for development of a SOO are covered. This segment of the training is new and stresses this methodology as an important emerging approach to be used in PBSA. As noted in various guidance document related PBSA, this is an excellent way to reduce costs and take advantage of commercially available services to satisfy organizational needs.

Day Four: In a discussion of quality assurance methods and procedures, the types of surveillance are explained in detail and exercises are used to demonstrate their use. Practical exercises provide practice in selection of an appropriate surveillance method for various conditions that are commonly encountered in the administration of service contracts. The indifference method and ANSI Z1.4 Attribute Sampling method of random sampling are described and procedures for the use of random sampling are demonstrated.

Day five ends at noon. Procedures for preparing a Performance Plan or QASP are discussed along with guidelines for determining performance standards, overall performance requirements quality levels, and appropriate methods of surveillance. A sample Performance Plan/QASP is reviewed in detail. The requirements for scheduling surveillance are discussed along with procedures for observing contractor performance, documenting the results, evaluating the overall results for the period of observation and making recommendations to the Contractor Officer regarding the contractor's overall performance.



Course #445 - Performance Work Statement Writing

This course is designed for the Contracting Officer Representatives (COR) and other functional personnel who may be responsible for preparation of the requirements package for a service contract. Multiple attendees from a single installation may be grouped together for work on a requirements package of interest to group. Up to six notebook computers loaded with notional PWS/SOO documents will be available in class for group use in developing the requirements package. Each group will be requested to bring to class a project description with supporting documentation to the extent possible in an electronic format to serve as the basis for workshops and practical exercises. Sample electronic files for SOO and PWS documents will be available for students use in the workshops and practical exercises if needed. A complete SOO/PWS (or at least a draft of a comprehensive outline for one) will be prepared in class.

Day one presents an overview of the PBSA approach to service contracting. The unique terms and definitions are presented and the structure of the contract is demonstrated through the use of examples and discussion. The legal and contractual aspects of specifications are covered along with a detailed discussion of the differences between design and performance requirements. The design and performance requirements discussion is reinforced in a practical exercise.

Day two addresses the systems approach to job analysis for identifying requirements. Each step in the process is illustrated with a handout which is discussed in class. In a workshop each group will develop to the extent possible data for each step of job analysis for their individual projects. PBSA performance analysis is identified as a tool for identification of specific contract performance objectives and related performance standards for all important performance attributes. Emphasis is placed on development of a Work Breakdown Structure as the basic framework for analysis performed. For each required service, the need for performance standards and objectives and an overall performance threshold is identified. The difference between an objective and threshold is stressed.

Day three covers the requirements for a Performance Work Statement and a Statement of Objectives and discusses when to use one or the other. Development of both the PWS and SOO is addressed in detail. First. developing drafts of the Requirements Summary and the contract pricing schedule as preliminary steps to writing the Performance Work Statement is covered. A recommended standard format for the Performance Work Statement is covered along with a general discussion of the contents of each paragraph. The general principles for writing a Performance Work Statement are covered and a notional guide Performance Work Statkements is reviewed in class. In a workshop, one the notional Performance Work Statement guide is edited to reflect appropriate general requirements for the group exercise. Next, requirements for development of a Statement of Objectives is covered. This segment of the training is new and stresses this methodology as an important emerging approach to PBSA. As noted in various guidance document related to PL 107-107 and the Services Acquisitin Reform Act, it is an excellent way to take advantage of commercially available services to satisfy organiztional need at a savings.

On day four, the previous day's workshop continues and the Performance Work Statement and Statement of Objectives specific requirements are developed.

Day five ends at noon. The morning is devoted to a presentation by each group to show what was accomplished. Disk copies of all products prepared by all groups are made and exchanged so that each group has a copy of all documentation prepared in class. The course is concluded with a review of all materials covered in class.



Course #446 - Service Contracts Cost Estimating

This course is designed for government contracting and technical personnel who may be called upon to produce a cost estimate for a service contracting requirement. The course addresses estimating for services primarily related to facility operation and related support services. The course stresses the importance of Market Research as an integral part of cost estimating; the use of a work breakdown structures as the framework for development of well documented Independent Government Cost Estimates; the calculation of fully burdened labor rates; estimating for facilities operations, maintenance, and support services using RS Means Facilities Maintenance and Repair Manual (a copy of the manual is provided for each student to keep); a complete description of the methods of estimating normally used for estimating services costs; and typical techniques used for the projection of cost data from past contracts and other sources. Computers will be used in class by students to develop typical cost estimates for practical exercises.



On day one, essential definitions are provided along with a discussion of the different types of estimates prepared. The contents of a cost estimate package and importance of cost estimates are addressed. A section on the different kinds of costs in cost estimating includes a discussion of direct and indirect costs, overhead cost, and profit. Example calculations for a fully burdened labor rate and a composite rate are presented and reinforced by a practical exercise. Estimating techniques for estimating labor hour requirements are identified. The FAR Cost Accounting Standards and Cost Principles are reviewed briefly in class.



Day two addresses the preparation and use of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as the basic framework for development of a cost estimate. The importance of the WBS is highlighted by an example and practical exercise. Estimating methods and procedures are covered and example estimates are presented using the comparison method and group expert opinion technique. Use of the detailed estimating method is the subject of a practical exercise. Other techniques are identified along with procedures for data collection and normalization.



Day three begins with a discussion of the cost estimating process, to include documenting its purpose, the type of estimate, ground rules and assumptions; gathering cost data; identifying estimating methods to use, developing the cost estimate for each cost element, and related cost elements. The cost of contractor quality assurance and quality control is addressed as a factor that may impact the government cost estimate. Estimating techniques discussed include parametric cost estimating, the use of cost estimating relationships, use of the learning curve, and the use of estimating standards. A section on understanding labor rates and escalation includes discussion of wage rates in a service contract, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Service Contract Act, and workmen' compensation costs. A price escalation discussion addresses the use of consumer price indexes and other indexes. An example of using the employment cost index is presented. The course ends with a brief discussion of a life cycle cost estimate, documenting the cost estimate package, and using a forward pricing rate agreement when estimating in a sole source environment.



Course #448 - Performance Work Statement Writing & Cost Estimating

This course is designed for functional personnel who may be responsible for preparation of the requirements package for a service contract and for preparation of the related Independent Government Cost Estimate.

Day one presents an overview of the required performance based approach to service contracting. The unique terms and definitions are presented and the structure of the contract is demonstrated through the use of examples and discussion. The legal and contractual aspects of specifications are covered along with a detailed discussion of the differences between design and performance requirements. The design and performance requirements discussion is reinforced in a practical exercise.

Day two addresses the systems approach to job analysis for identifying requirements. Each step in the process is illustrated with a handout which is discussed in class. PBSA performance analysis is identified as a tool for identification of specific contract performance objectives and related performance standards for all important performance attributes. Emphasis is placed on development of a Work Breakdown Structure as the basic framework for analysis performed. For each required service, the need for performance standards and objectives and an overall performance threshold is identified. The difference between a performance objective and a performance threshold is explained and discussed in detail.

Day three covers the requirements for a Performance Work Statement (PWS) and a Statement of Objectives (SOO) and discusses when to use one or the other. Development procedures for both the PWS and SOO are addressed in detail. First, developing drafts of the Requirements Summary and the contract pricing schedule as preliminary steps to writing the Performance Work Statement is covered. A recommended standard format for the Performance Work Statement is covered along with a general discussion of the contents of each paragraph. The general principles for writing a Performance Work Statement are covered and a notional guide Performance Work Statements is reviewed in class. Next, requirements for development of a SOO are covered. This segment of the training is new and stresses this methodology as an important emerging approach to be used in PBSA. As noted in various guidance document related PBSA, this is an excellent way to reduce costs and take advantage of commercially available services to satisfy organizational needs.

On day four, cost estimating essential definitions are provided along with a discussion of the different types of estimates prepared. The contents of a cost estimate package and importance of cost estimates are addressed. A section on the different kinds of costs in cost estimating includes a discussion of direct and indirect costs, overhead cost, and profit. Example calculations for a fully burdened labor rate and a composite rate are presented and reinforced by a practical exercise. Estimating techniques for estimating labor hour requirements are identified and the use of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is identified as the basic framework for development of a cost estimate. The importance of the WBS is highlighted by an example and practical exercise. Estimating methods and procedures are covered and example estimates are presented using the comparison method and group expert opinion technique. Use of the detailed estimating method is the subject of a practical exercise. Other techniques are identified along with procedures for data collection and normalization.

Day five begins with a discussion of the cost estimating process, to include documenting its purpose, the type of estimate, ground rules and assumptions; gathering cost data; identifying estimating methods to use, developing the cost estimate for each cost element, and related cost elements. The cost of contractor quality assurance and quality control is addressed as a factor that may impact the government cost estimate. Estimating techniques discussed include parametric cost estimating, the use of cost estimating relationships, use of the learning curve, and the use of estimating standards. The use of R. S. Means estimating standards for services is demonstrated. A section on understanding labor rates and escalation includes discussion of wage rates in a service contract, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Service Contract Act, and workmen㯭pensation costs. A price escalation discussion addresses the use of consumer price indexes and other indexes. An example of using the employment cost index is presented.



Course #450 - Air Force Service Contracts Surveillance Methods & Procedures

This is a detailed quality assurance course designed for Contracting Officer's Representatives (COR), quality personnel and other management and functional personnel with service contractor monitoring responsibilities. It includes as references: OUSD (AT&L) Memo, March 29, 2010, DOD Standard for Certification of Contracting Officer's Representatives (COR) for Services; AFI63-101, Chapter 4; and MP5301.602-2(d)-Designation, Assignment, and Responsibilities of a Contracting Officer's Representative (COR), April 21, 2011; and extracts from the web based guide to PBSA, "Seven Steps to Performance-Based Services Acquisition." The text has been updated to reflect current guidance. The course includes extensive coverage of Commercial Item acquisition procedures and conforms entirely with FAR Subpart 37.5 and 37.6. The course materials are specifically tailored to the needs of Air Force Quality Assurance Personnel assigned surveillance responsibility for one or more base support service contracts. Sample contracts are provided with the course manual and are the subject of the primary practical exercises of the course.

Day one: The basic references are covered with emphasis on the contents of the reference documents. The legal and contractual aspects of quality control and quality assurance are covered, including a discussion of FAR Part 46 and the standard inspection clauses. The Commercial Item contract format is identified and the contents of the Bid Schedule, the PWS, and selected contract clauses and special provisions are covered in detail as they relate to the structure of a service contract. The importance of the Service Delivery Summary (SDS) and the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) are discussed and the need for consistency among the Bid Schedule, Performance Work Statement, and the Performance Plan or QASP is emphasized. Design and performance specifications are defined, their use in service contracts is discussed, and surveillance techniques applicable for each type of specification are identified.

Day two: The requirements for Contractor Quality Control are discussed and procedures for review and approval of the contractor's Quality Control Plan are explained. The methods of surveillance, including Random Sampling, 100% Inspection, Periodic Surveillance, and Customer Complaints are defined and discussed. Other methods of surveillance including trend analysis, third party audit, and the use of contractor metrics are also identified. The criteria for selecting a surveillance method are discussed.

Day three: In a discussion of quality assurance methods and procedures, the types of surveillance are explained in more detail and exercises are used to demonstrate the use of the indifference method of random sampling. A computer based random number generator is demonstrated and a disk copy is provided to each participant. The interval technique for random sampling is explained. Practical exercises provide practice in selection of a surveillance method and in using random sampling with payment deductions for projected defects. Procedures for use of random sampling with an unknown lot size are discussed and applied in a practical exercise.

Day four: Procedures for preparing the Performance Plan or QASP are discussed along with guidelines for determining performance standards, performance requirements, and appropriate methods of surveillance. The importance of partnering with the contractor to establish realistic expectations for service outputs to meet the specified performance standards and thresholds is emphasized. In a practical exercise, the students prepare a Performance Plan or QASP for a sample PWS. The requirements for scheduling surveillance are discussed along with procedures for observing contractor performance, documenting the results, evaluating the overall results for the period of observation and making recommendations for contractor payment.

Day five: Day five ends at noon. The morning is devoted to a discussion of the use of the a current Air Force support services contract, including a discussion of QA Personnel responsibilities. The contents of a contract package are identified as the Government Cost Estimate, the Performance Work Statement, the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan, and the Bid Schedule. Surveillance procedures and required reports and documentation are discussed. The course is concluded with a review and critique of the class.



What is Performance Based Services Acquisition? (PBSA)

Every year it seems the Defense Authorization Bill reiterates the need for DoD Activities to acquire services using Performance Based methods. Congress and OMB continue to emphasise the importance of this method of procurement. Performance-Based Services Acquisiton is not new; however, the importance of PBSA and the emphasis being placed on it by the highest levels of Government is significant, and requirements for compliance with performance-based techniques are now mandatory for all agencies of the Federal Government. Moreover, realization of the benefits from PBSA is fast becoming a necessity, rather than an option. In general for a variety of reasons, service contracting requirements are increasing, in-house resources for administration are decreasing, and service contracting budgets are being cut. If we are to survive these pressures on both ends of service needs, we must be able to do more with less and still meet our mission needs. PBSA is a way to achieve this goal.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) and DoD have indicated that agencies should use the web based guidance for PBSA on the site at "Seven Steps to Performance-Based Services Acquisition, a web based guide.

In the Department of Defense, a minimum of at least 50 percent of service acquisitions, measured both in dollars and actions, are to be performance-based. For an acquisition to be counted in this assessment, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has issued guidelines stating that the contract must be at least 50% performance-based in terms of work scope and dollars. In addition to the emphasis on using performance-based methods in acquiring services, another significant change in the process requires the use of commercial item acquisition procedures for the procurement of routine installation support and operation and maintenance services. All service contracts for such "commercial items" must be fixed price type contracts and incorporate to the maximum extent possible "commercial" practices and procedures.

So what is a performance-based contract? The objective of Performance Based Services Acquisition is to give the contractor the maximum flexibility in terms of methods and means of performance in satisfying Government needs. In a performance-based contract, the requirements must be stated to the maximum extent possible as "performance" oriented requirements telling the contractor what the needs of the government are and the outcomes required to meet those needs. In the traditional approach, the requirements document - a Performance Work Statement (PWS ) - describes work in terms of "what" the required service is rather than "how" to perform the work, and measurable performance standards to be met must be included to the extent that it is possible. In the absence of a specified performance standard, the commercially acceptable practice applies, and in all cases, the contractor has an implied warranty to deliver services that satisfy the intent of the contract requirements. Most contracts for base operations or facility support services are complex in nature and will necessarily include requirements that must conform to directives and are hence "design" or "proscriptive" in nature and cannot be "performance-based." The requirement in PBSA, is to limit such "design" requirements to those that are mandoatory by law, regulation, or directive and to those requirements where the collective experience and judgement of the organization dictate that a requirment be performed in a prescibed manner. Again, such design requirements must be less than half of the total scope of work in terms of work effort and dollars for the contract be considered as "performance based" contract.

For a contract to be performance-based, the FAR also requires that it include a Performance Plan or a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan and appropriate incentives to encourage contractors to develop innovative and cost-effective methods of performing the work. In PBSA, Government agencies are encouraged to be flexible in developing a Performance Work Statement (PWS); to explore the commercial market place and adopt the successful practices found there that can be used.

Market research is the cornerstone of efforts to shift acquisition strategy towards commercial practices. Market research is used to determine whether or not a commercial product or service is available that might satisfy the Government need. It requires the efforts of both contracting and functional personnel to identify and adapt commercial practices related to Government needs. By going into the market place, the Government can find what truly works best.

In planning the acquisition, PBSA also encourages industry involvement. Industry comments on draft SOWs and other Government initiatives will often lead to a better way of doing business. It is important to keep industry involved throughout the acquisition cycle. Government and industry partnerships are encouraged in PBSA. Partnering is a mutually beneficial relationship and an agreement of trust to share risks in a cooperative attitude to deliver the service with efficiency and effectiveness. After contract award, Partnering Agreements can be formalized to promote mutual efforts to improve the process, to align the contractor's interests with the Government's. The partnering agreement should center on mutual goals and objectives driven toward the purpose of the contract.

PBSA contract templates have been prepared for a number of typical service contracts. These templates, while helpful, must be used with caution, and edited significantly to tailor them to specific installation needs.

There is no mandatory format for a Performance Work Statement; however, a standard format should be used for a number of reasons. Standardization facilitates both the preparation and understanding of the requirements document. Usage over time also improves performance and ultimately, reduces the cost of performance which is of benefit to both the contractor and the government. In the past the Government has used 100 percent inspection, random sampling, periodic inspection, customer complaints, or a combination of these traditional surveillance methods aimed at problem identification, that is detecting nonconformances and defective units of service. Under PBSA, this approach is being de-emphasized. Under the new PBSA approach, the Government is now placing more reliance on contractors to control quality and develop metrics. Rather than spend a lot of time and effort evaluating specific service deliveries by the contractor, the Government now spends more time in assessing the contractor's management and performance metrics. As in the past, when defects are found, reperformance by the contractor is the preferred corrective action. The goal is to select contractors with proven performance records and award a well formed contract at a fair and reasonable price, one which will permit the contractor to perform at the level of quality required and still make a reasonable profit. Under the PBSA approach, quality control and quality assurance is a partnership between the contractor and the Government. It is true that the contractor remains responsible for quality control and the Government must initiate corrective action whenever it discovers defects in service delivery. However, under the new procedures, the partnership with the contractor begins even before award by working with industry to discover the best of commercial practices that may be applied to contract requirements. The Government continues to work closely with the contractor both during source selection and after award to establish meaningful performance objectives and thresholds to satisfy the Government's specified needs. During the initial contract performance period, CORs, Government functional managers, quality personnel, and customers must work together with the contractor to validate and modify, as needed the performance objectives, standards, and thresholds. Once the contractor has achieved a satisfactory level of performance, the primary element of Government surveillance then is to continuously evaluate the contractor࣯ntrol of quality.

Evaluation of the contractor's quality control program is an on-going effort and the nature of the validation effort changes with time. Changes occur in the service delivery environment continuously and these changes impact on the contractor's ability to control quality. The contractor's management and labor mix changes as employees are reassigned, quit, retire, or are hired and fired to account for increases and decreases in workload. Worn and broken tools and equipment are replaced, often with newer and more state-of-the-art items which must be addressed in the processes, procedures, and training programs underlying the contractor's service delivery efforts. Likewise facilities change with time, along with regulatory requirements, the availability of supplies and materials, the contractor's financial condition, and a host of other elements, any of which can impact significantly on the quality of service output. A contractor with a successful past performance record will routinely account for such changes in the continuing effort to control quality. The Government must be assured that the contractor is successful in this effort and must insist on the contractor's maintenance of the system in an acceptable manner at all times during the contract performance period. To do this, the Government measures the contractor's control of quality by establishing a performance threshold for each required service. Service output that does not meet the established performance threshold is unsatisfactory. This means that the contractor's control of quality for that service, during that observation period, is unacceptable. When performance is thus found to be unacceptable, the record must objectively document the failure to control quality. Quality control for a service period, once performed, cannot be reperformed, so unsatisfactory quality control for any given observation period for a required service becomes a part of the contractor's permanent past performance record. The Government should identify the nonconformances which were the basis for the unsatisfactory quality control finding and require corrective action, both to correct the observed nonconformances and more importantly, the root cause of the nonconformances.

The primary element of the Government Contract Quality Assurance Program is simply to validate the contractor's quality control system and monitor contractor metrics. This approach to performance assessment requires less effort on the part of Government quality personnel and yet it still presents acceptable risk. The risk of accepting unsatisfactory service delivery is greatest during the initial phase in period of contract performance. It is during this period that the Government must work diligently with the contractor to establish meaningful expectations and metrics for the required services.

PBSA is here now, it is here to stay, and it is mandatory.

Article written by James E. Hutcheson, of MSC Associates, Inc.