Post-Award Contract Management
Once a contract has been awarded, the contract administration phase begins. Contract administration refers to any administrative activity undertaken by either the Government or the contractor from the time of contract award to contract close-out. Specifically, the term refers to steps taken by the Government representative(s) responsible for ensuring Government and contractor compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract. Such steps include:
Contract administration also includes problem solving activities necessitated by unforeseeable circumstances, changes, problems, and disagreements that arise following contract award.
Ordinarily, a BOP staff member in the community corrections office overseeing the contract is appointed the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR). The COR is responsible for monitoring contractor compliance with the requirements contained in the Statement of Work (SOW) or Performance Work Statement (PWS), as negotiated prior to the award. Contract monitoring frequency is based upon the negotiated usage in mandays. On an annual basis, there is normally one formal comprehensive inspection followed by up to three or more unannounced informal inspections. A written report is completed and provided to the contractor that describes the contractor's performance for the period of time leading up to the inspection. The report will contain findings by the inspection team including areas of concern or non-compliance, as well as point out areas of strength in the contractor's performance. The contractor is expected to respond to the BOP within 30 days and should outline the corrective action taken by the contractor to correct deficiencies and prevent them from recurring. Once a satisfactory response is received, the BOP will formally close the monitoring via written correspondence.
Option Year Contracts
Ordinarily, contracts are awarded for a base period of two years with three one-year option periods or a one year base with four one-year option periods. Under a performance-based contract, the normal base period is three years, with up to seven option years. Approximately four months prior to the start of an option period, residential reentry field staff determine if there is a need to continue contract services. If services are to continue, field personnel send a request to the contracting officer to exercise the option year. It is the Government's unilateral right to decide whether to exercise an option year.
While informal resolution is always preferred, failure to meet contract requirements requires immediate attention and may, if not corrected, necessitate an adverse action notice from the contracting officer or residential reentry field staff. Monitoring reports document areas where the contractor is not in compliance with contract requirements. It is the contractor's responsibility to correct deficiencies and indicate its corrective actions in response to the monitoring reports. In an effort to help improve contractor performance, BOP staff may provide additional training and guidance. If these efforts fail, the BOP may deduct funds from the next billing under the authority of the Inspection of Service Clause, FAR 52.246-4. A deduction of funds is not a punitive sanction, but is a reduction of monies for services not performed or that cannot now be performed. Continued performance issues may result in the contracting officer issuing a Cure Notice, which specifies the area of contract non-compliance and asks the contractor how they will cure or correct the deficiency. An satisfactory response will permit the contract to continue. An unsatisfactory response may result in the Government terminating the contract. A termination should only be used after all other efforts have failed.
The BOP is committed to standards of conduct that promote public trust and confidence. Therefore, emphasis is placed on contract staff integrity and ensuring all contract employees are screened to determine if they are appropriate to work with federal inmates.
Pre-Performance Background Checks
Prior to contract award, Central Office will complete NCIC/NLETS checks for the successful bidder's executive staff. Residential reentry office staff will conduct these checks on all other contract employees and volunteers who will have contact with federal inmates. In addition to the NCIC/NLETS criminal history checks, residential reentry field staff will fingerprint all contract employees and volunteers, and submit these to the FBI for processing. If the fingerprint check reveals a contract employee has a criminal history that does not meet acceptability criteria, the residential reentry manager (RRM) must prohibit the contract employee from working with federal inmates. Administrative steps may be taken to appeal this decision.
Allegations of Contract Staff Misconduct
Any allegation of contract staff misconduct is reported by the residential reentry field staff to the BOP's Office of Internal Affairs (OIA) which, in turn, reports the allegations to the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The seriousness of the allegation determines if the OIG retains the case or returns it for investigation by OIA. A sustained allegation may result in the contract employee being prohibited from working with federal offenders. If the allegation is criminal in nature, the appropriate law enforcement authority will notified.
One of the BOP's goals is to ensure that quality contract services are provided to federal inmates. Residential reentry office staff are responsible for providing ongoing assistance and training to contractor staff. Formal on-site training is provided annually and includes instruction and review of such topics as discipline, integrity, accountability, and life/safety issues. Approximately every 18-24 months, region-wide contractor training is held focusing on regional and national residential reentry issues. These training programs help contract staff better understand the BOP's expectations, requirements, and operations. Newly hired key personnel must receive training within 90 days.
Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS)
The CPARS is an annual assessment conducted by the COR. It covers a rating period of 12 months of contract performance and is ordinarily conducted at the end of each performance period as identified on the contract award document. The CPARS documents a contractor's strengths and weaknesses in providing RRC services to the BOP, based upon monitoring reports and other documented interaction during that period. Upon review and approval by the Regional Management Team and within 30 days after the end of the rating period, the COR sends the CPARS to the BOP's Contracting Officer, who forwards it to the contractor for review and comments. The contractor has 30 days to respond. The CPARS process is the basis for scoring past performance during proposal evaluations.