a. The following documents are references:
ii. DHHS Acquisition SuperSite, Desk References and Performance Support,https://www.hhs.gov/asfr/ogapa/acquisition/index.html.
b. Quality measurement and verification are required elements of all government contracts. The government is required to establish a QASP for service contracts and especially performance-based contracts. The QASP consists of four parts:
§ Deliverable to be completed (what will be monitored?)
§ Performance standard (what is expected?)
§ Acceptable quality level (AQL)/compliance level (what constitutes acceptance?)
§ Surveillance method/frequency (how will you perform your check: random sampling, customer complaint, etc.?)
c. The government is also required to evaluate and document performance progresses. Specific and objective performance standards will be established wherever possible. Task order performance surveillance will be performed in accordance with the terms of the contract (which the task order is written against) and the Task Order’s QASP. The QASP describes how performance will be measured against the performance standards; it details the performance evaluation factors. These factors are usually stated in terms of:
§ Cost Savings
a. The QASP is developed to comply with FAR Subparts 37-6, Performance-Based Acquisition, and 46-4, Government Contract Quality Assurance. In addition, FAR Subpart 46.103, Contracting Officer Responsibilities, states that agencies shall develop quality assurance surveillance plans when acquiring services. Note however, the development of a more formal QASP (including performance standards, acceptable quality levels, surveillance methods, and incentives and remedies) is only required for performance-based service contracts. The QASP for service contracts can be greatly simplified and streamlined based on the complexity of the services being acquired. These plans recognize the responsibility of the Service Provider (SP) to carry out its quality obligations, and contain measurable inspection and acceptance criteria corresponding to the performance standards contained in the statement of work. The QASP focuses on the level of performance required by the statement of work, rather than the methodology used by the SP to achieve that level of performance.
b. The QASP is a government document used to specify the inspection and acceptance requirements of the Task Order SOW. For this reason, it is necessary that the Task Order’s SOW and QASP be written in conjunction with each other (FAR Subpart 46.103 requires the CO to receive the QASP from the same activity responsible for technical requirements).
c. It is the government’s responsibility to develop a QASP and conduct a quality assurance (QA) program with sufficient rigor to ensure mission accomplishment and efficiency.
d. For commercial services, the QASP shall be consistent with any existing commercial practices.
To the extent possible, the attached templates will be used. The contractor should consider the requirements therein when preparing the submission.
The Government may either prepare the QASP or require the offerors to submit a proposed QASP for the Government’s consideration in development of the Government’s plan (FAR Subpart 37.604).
Inspection will occur according to the schedule described in the Summary Planning Table (Table 1) and modified as required. When the SP’s QC program proves to works well, and performance is consistently good, the amount of the surveillance can be decreased. If the SP has not equaled or exceeded the AQL, performance is considered unsatisfactory and the COTR/PO should prepare a SPDR and increase the oversight. Caution must be exercised to ensure that the surveillance results are accurate and applied to the correct performance period in which the work was produced.
Accurate and thorough surveillance and documentation is required for an effective and auditable QASP. Surveillance documentation and reports (usually monthly) prepared by the COTR/PO will be maintained in the COTR/PO file. The COTR/PO file will also contain a copy of the contract, all contract amendments, modifications, surveillance reports, SPDR Forms and other documentation required by the ACO.
Easy to use and complete documents are required; the management and surveillance team must be disciplined in filling out the required documents. The inspection and acceptance of SP products and services should be based upon clearly stated criteria and not opinion and anecdotal evidence. Completeness, currency, and accuracy are required to document both satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance. This QASP directs at least the following documents be used:
The QASP Summary Planning Table (See Table 1)
§ Fill out one row of this table for each deliverable. (Fill out only one row for repeated deliverables, like periodic status reports.)
§ Provide a full description of the Performance Standard and the Acceptable Quality Level. This text may be of substantial length—write whatever is necessary to clearly state the Performance Standard and Acceptable Quality Level.
The QASP Evaluation/Decision/Action Table (See Table 2)
Maintain this table, and all its supporting documents, as living documents, as separate, but companion documents to this QASP.
§ Fill out one row of this table for each SPECIFIC OCCURANCE of a deliverable.
§ Fill out a new row for each repeated deliverable, like periodic status reports.
§ Fill out a new row for each iteration of the same deliverable, and note this, for example, by designating it as “delivery #2.”
§ Provide a full description in the remaining columns.
The Evaluation/Decision/Action Table should be customized to meet the specific needs of the task order. Deliverables and the required delivery dates are specified in the Task Order. Milestones and additional subtasks may need to be established and monitored. The government needs to establish a surveillance program sufficient to monitor deliverable production schedule and quality. The government should also ensure that the SP has established internal methodology to both produce the deliverable and assure the government of progress.
The Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) is responsible for monitoring, assessing, recording, and reporting on the technical performance of the Contractor on a day-to-day basis and has primary responsibility for completing the QASP inspection, evaluation and documentation. It is extremely important for the COTR to establish and maintain a team-oriented line of communication with the Contractor’s Project Manager (PM) and the PM’s office staff when monitoring the SP functions. Meetings should be held on a regular basis in order to identify and resolve serious problems. Key outcomes of the meetings should be documented in the comments section of the QASP Evaluation/Decision/Action Table.
The contractor’s performance should be evaluated by the COTR in terms of a specific set of products and activities, according to three categories: “superior,” “acceptable,” and “unacceptable.” The criteria for each of the performance levels will be defined and discussed prior to the start of the task or subtask. In general, the work will be evaluated in terms of how well the requirements of the contract are satisfied, the extent to which the work performed follows the approach found in the contractor’s technical proposal, clarity of documentation, and timeliness of scheduled task accomplishment.
The QASP records in Table 2 will substantiate the government’s position in case the government seeks monetary deduction from the contractor for poor performance. If government action or lack of action caused the unsatisfactory performance, this also will be documented in the Evaluation/Decision/Action Table. A memorandum will be prepared by the COTR/PO explaining the government’s action and submitted with the monthly report to the ACO.
Unsatisfactory contract performance will be reported immediately to the ACO and the contractor. The contractor is allowed to answer how the discrepancy will be corrected and how reoccurrence will be avoided. Appropriate supporting documentation will be forwarded to the ACO. A copy will be maintained in the COTR/PO file.
Task Order Title:
Task Order #:
As of: MM/DD/YYYY
This QASP specifically corresponds to the SOW Section 5, Specific Tasks. That Section discusses the requirements and standards of performance of the award. This document provides a surveillance plan sufficient to ensure SP performance and compliance with the FAR.
The objective of this Surveillance Plan is to evaluate how the ___(Task Order Name)___ Task Order is being performed by ___(Service Provider)___ at __(Location)___.
Number the Summary Table rows sequentially so they can be referred to in the Detailed Evaluation/Decision/Action Table.
Give a descriptive name of the deliverable, like Monthly Status Report; Management Plan; Software Design Specification; Transition Plan, etc.
Using objective and measurable terms, describe the standard of quality you expect the deliverable to adhere to. For example, restores desktop computer service within four hours of receiving trouble report during business hours.
|Acceptable Quality Level||
State what level of quality for a deliverable will make it an acceptable deliverable. For example, meets performance standard 95% of the time.
|Method Used||Explain how you will inspect deliverables to determine if the performance standard is met. Methods include 100% inspection (often used for written products), random or scheduled inspections, testing, etc.|
|Frequency||State how often inspections will take place.|
|Incentive (+/-)||If you choose to use incentives for a particular deliverable, state the criteria for applying them. For example, if a deliverable has an AQL of 95%, you may choose to pay an incentive fee if the performance standard is met 100% of the time in a particular period. Alternatively, you may choose to reduce payment if the performance standard is met less than 80% of the time in a particular period.|
|Reference Deliverable. No.||Use the number in the Summary Table for the deliverable type being evaluated.|
|Deliverable Type||Use the same descriptive name of the deliverable as used in the Summary Table. Add any information necessary to make it unique, like the date of a monthly status report, or re-delivery information about a second or subsequent delivery of the same product.|
|Performance Standard||Summarize the standard of quality stated in the Summary Table.|
|Acceptable Quality Level||Summarize the AQL stated in the Summary Table.|
|Method Used||Summarize the method description stated in the Summary Table.|
|Frequency||Repeat the frequency of inspection stated in the Summary Table.|
|Incentive (+/-)||Summarize the incentive description stated in the Summary Table.|
|Evaluation Date||Give the date of the specific evaluation. For recurring deliverables, give the date of the particular instance of the deliverable. For re-deliveries, give the date of the re-delivery.|
|Compliance Level||Results of the evaluation. Report this in the same objective and measurable terms used to state the performance standard.|
|Causative Factor||If the evaluation is not satisfactory, explain any causative factors.|
|Effect on Mission||If the evaluation is not satisfactory, explain any impact on the mission.|
|Action Required||If the evaluation is not satisfactory, explain any action needed. Resubmission of a deliverable may be one possibility.|
|Date Action Required By||This action date should be in alignment with any statements in the SOW as to redelivery requirements.|
|SPDR No.||If a Service Provider Discrepancy Report has been created, record its number here.|
|Comment||Add any explanatory comments that may be appropriate.|