- What is the Contractor Module in the NIH Contractor Performance System (CPS)?
- What must the contractor do to participate?
- How is the contractor notified that an evaluation is pending for review?
- What is the PIN number?
- What information is required at login to the Contractor Module?
- What happens if the contractor misplaces the PIN and cannot access the evaluation?
- The contractor representative is the primary person responsible for reviewing and commenting on the evaluation. What is the role of the secondary, or alternate, contractor representative?
- How will the contractor know what to do in order to review and comment?
- What happens if a contractor does not have Internet access?
- Will the contractor have unlimited access to the "In Progress" evaluations?
- Will the contractor have unlimited access to the "Completed" evaluations?
- How long does the contractor have to review the "In Progress" evaluation?
- Can a contractor print out a report?
- What happens if the contractor disagrees with the evaluation and cannot come to agreement with the CO?
- Can the CO change the evaluation while the contractor is reviewing it?
- Who can change the contractor’s comments?
- How does the implementation of the Contractor Module affect the performance evaluation process?
- What is the reporting period?
- What is the difference between "contractor manager/principal investigator" and "contractor Key person" and contractor representative?
- Do you know of anyone who has prepared the ratings in survey format and send to the customer ("project officer")?
The Contractor Module allows contractors to participate over the Internet in completing government performance evaluations in the NIH CPS. A Contractor Representative (CR), undergoing performance evaluation, receives notification of an evaluation via e-mail. The CR then accesses the evaluation, reviews, and submits comments (if required) via the Internet. The automated review process includes interaction between the CR and the Contracting Officer (CO) as well as between the government Project Officer (PO)/COTR and the CO. Once the evaluation is finalized, it is set into the CPS as Completed” and is available for all government personnel to review in the Federal contract award process. The CR receives electronic access to the “Completed” evaluation.
The CR must register with the CPS. A registration form is available at https://cpscontractor.nih.gov/cr.asp
For more information please visit the CPS Website at http://cps.od.nih.gov
The CPS generates e-mail automatically when the CO refers an evaluation in progress to the CR for review and comment. The e-mail will contain instructions for the CR to login and work on this specific evaluation. Through this e-mail message, the CR will be provided a PIN number to access the evaluation. Once the evaluation is reviewed and comments submitted for incorporation in the CPS evaluation, the PIN is deactivated. At the login screen, the CR is asked for their Login ID and Password. A second screen will appear where the CR must enter the PIN (provided from the email notification).
The PIN is a temporary password issued for a single specific evaluation. When the evaluation is completed, the PIN is deactivated. At later stages in the life cycle of an evaluation, a new PIN can be created to allow work on a new evaluation.
At the login screen, the CR is asked their Login ID and Password.
The CR must contact the cognizant CO and request that a new PIN be re-generated.
The secondary (alternate) contractor representative (ACR) is sent an informational e-mail for each evaluation at the same time e-mail is sent to the CR. The role of the ACR is to alert the cognizant CO when it is perceived that the CR is not able to review and comment within the thirty-day review period. The CO has the ability to reset the thirty-day clock and/or re-generate a new PIN for a CR. It is also the responsibility of the ACR to notify the CO if the CR has left the organization.
A contractor manual providing step-by-step instructions can be downloaded/printed from the CPS Website: http://cps.od.nih.gov under the hyperlink Contractor User's Manual in the Contractor Information Column.
Contractors without Internet access will continue to receive the performance evaluations as in the past - U.S. mail.
The CR has access to the specifically assigned evaluation for the duration of the assigned task (review and comment) for a 30 day period. During the time the CR has access to the evaluation, the CR can access the evaluation indefinitely. When the task ends, (the CR submits the comments for incorporation into the evaluation), the access ends and the PIN is deactivated. The CR has the ability to save the evaluation in “draft” mode until ready to actually submit the comments to the CPS. This allows the work to be completed with deliberation in multiple steps.
Currently, the CR has one-time access to the completed evaluations. The CR has thirty days to view and make comments on the report. At day thirty-one the access will be revoked.
Electronic Process: The CR has thirty (30)- days to submit comments (FAR 42.15). The CPS starts counting the days from the date the first e-mail on an evaluation is sent to the CR. If no comments are received during that thirty day period, the CPS will automatically set the evaluation to “Completed@ status and will incorporate a statement to the effect that Ano comments were received within the thirty day time limit”. If the CR cannot complete the review in thirty days, the cognizant CO must be notified in order to reset the thirty day clock or extend the review period.
Manual Process: The CR has thirty (30) days to submit comments (FAR 42.15). The CPS starts counting the days from the date the evaluation is sent to the CR. However, the CPS will NOT automatically set the evaluation to Completed” status. The CO must intercede in the non-electronic process. The contractor module expects comments to be entered. The CO, acting for the CR, must then enter the contractor=s comments him/herself. Once this is done, the evaluation is submitted and set into the database as Completed”.
Yes. All reports may be printed using the Print function of the Internet browser.
Once the CO has determined that no agreement can be reached, the CO may provide the reviewing official (Agency Reviewer) read-only access to the performance evaluation. The reviewing official is able to review both the CR and government comments on the same screen. Once the reviewing official has made a determination, he/she contacts the CO. The CO is then responsible for revising the comments as directed by the reviewing official. The CO has the capability to electronically send the evaluation back to the CR for any revision that need to be made at the contractor end. The CR is provided a copy of the “Completed@evaluation.
The evaluation is “Locked” to the CO from the time the e-mail is sent until the CR submits comments to the database. This means that the government’s comments cannot be altered in any way while the contractor is reviewing the evaluation.
When the CR submits comments into the CPS electronically, only the CR may change those comments. Once the CR comments are reviewed by the CO, and after discussion with the PO/COTR and the CR, the CO may provide the CR access to the comments for revision.
When the CR submits a hardcopy (non-electronic) of their comments, the CO, acting as the CR’s agent, must enter those comments into the CPS and must provide the CR a copy of the evaluation with the comments entered.
The implementation of the Contractor Module affects the performance evaluation process for the:
Project Officer (PO)/COTR: Once the CR returns their comments to the CO; the CO can re-assign the evaluation to the PO/COTR for their review.
The PO/COTR will receive e-mail notification when the CR comments are available for review and the PO/COTR will be able to review these comments via the Internet. However, the comments will be placed in a “read-only” mode. The CO following discussions with the PO/COTR must make all changes to the government’s comments.Contracting Officer:
- Before submitting the government’s comments to the CPS, the CO must determine whether to:
- Provide the contractor electronic access, or
- Act as the contractor’s agent and input the contractor’s comments him/herself (non-electronic)
The CO may also provide electronic read-only access of the evaluation to the PO/COTR after the contractor has submitted comments and to the Agency Reviewer when no resolution can be reached between the CO and the contractor on a rating. The CO is responsible for administrative functions such as: regenerating the CR’s PIN when necessary, resetting the thirty-day clock with justification, etc. A NEW Tool is available for CO’s to manage their evaluations: the Evaluations Status Page indicates the location of every evaluation that is in process. The CO is able to perform specific functions by clicking on the icon (green or yellow) located in the first column on this page: regenerate PIN, update, etc.CONTRACTOR:
- The CR is able to view, submit comments, and print the comments using the Internet while the evaluation is in progress.
- The CR is able to view and print the completed evaluation when the evaluation process is finished.
The reporting period is the actual period of time that the CO and PO/COTR as a team evaluate the contractor's performance. Depending on how often an agency decides to perform these evaluations, the evaluation reporting period could be a year, six months, etc. Most agencies are doing these evaluations annually on active contracts. These are the INTERIM reports. So each year would be a different reporting period. A FINAL report is one that is done when the contract is completed (expired). There is a difference of opinion on the reporting period for the Final report. Some agencies are evaluating the performance for the entire life of the contract and some are evaluating only the last active period of the contract. The regulations only identify a need for Interim (contract active) and Final (contract completed) evaluations. There is nothing to tell us the reporting period for a Final evaluation.
The contractor manager/principal investigator is the person named in the contract as person responsible for managing the contract for the contractor. The contractor manager is the person in the contractor's shop who is responsible for managing a service and supply contract. The principal investigator is the person in the contractor's shop who is responsible for managing a research contract. Contractor Key Persons are those named in the contract but are not the lead persons responsible for the management of the contract. A Contractor Representative (CR) is the person who will be receiving the evaluation for review/comment. This could be the contractor manager/principal investigator but it usually is the person in the business office who signed the contract for the contractor.
If I understand this question, I think you are referring to the Project Officer module that is now a part of the CPS. The project officer and the contracting officer are identified in the FAR as the evaluation team with the contracting officer having the final authority over the evaluation ratings. There are two options available to the contracting officer for including the project officer in the process.
1. Manually: The project officer submits their evaluation to the CO in hard copy or in Word/WordPerfect or other electronic text format. This process requires the CO to either complete the evaluation on behalf of the PO/COTR by either using copy/paste from a computer file or retyping from a hard copy.
2. Electronically: The CO assigns an evaluation to the PO/COTR. The PO/COTR receives e-mail from the Contractor Performance System (CPS) notifying him/her that an evaluation has been assigned on a specific contract for a specific evaluation period. The project officer goes into the CPS and completes the ratings and answers the questions. There is a screen in the CPS where the CO can check the status of all the evaluations he/she has assigned. The CO is the final authority on the evaluation ratings. The CO then "finalizes" the evaluation by completing the administrative part of the form that includes identifying the Contractor Representative, etc. When the evaluation is completed, it is submitted to the CPS and a screen is returned showing the official evaluation.
Most people are using the electronic process now.
Buyer (CO) sends the customer (PO/COTR) an evaluation form to complete to judge the ratings and answer the questions.
If buyer sends the customer the evaluation electronically, the customer completes the form in CPS. If the buyer sends the customer the form in a non-electronic format, the buyer completes the evaluation using either the Standard or Construction form. This is submitted to the CPS as an evaluation "IN PROGRESS". In Progress is used as a flag to notify the CPS users that an evaluation is in progress and that a Completed evaluation should be available within at least 30 days.
Buyer sends the contractor the “In Progress” evaluation electronically (if the contractor is registered) for their review/comments/rebuttal. If the contractor is not registered, the buyer sends a printed copy of the “In Progress” evaluation by mail. The contractor has 30 days to respond. If the contractor does not respond before the 30 day time period or when the contractor does respond, the system automatically "Finalizes" (completes the evaluation process). The evaluation is now COMPLETED and is set into the CPS for all users of the CPS to use in source selections for award.
If the contractor and buyer cannot resolve any differences, we are required to refer the evaluation to a person one level above the CO (buyer). This person has the final word and it cannot be appealed. Each agency determines who that one level above is. It could be the HCA, line supervisor, head of the contracting shop, etc. The FAR just says, one level above the CO. The buyer does not "finalize" the evaluation in this case until after the "one level above" person has rendered his/her decision. Then it is set into the CPS as Completed.
FINAL and INTERIM reports refer to the status of the contract…
Not the status of the evaluation. A Final report is one that is done after the contract has been completed. An Interim report is one that is done during the lifetime of the contract. You may have many Interim reports on a contract and should only have one Final report for that contract.
In Progress and Completed refer to the status of the evaluation
An In Progress report is one that has been sent to the contractor for comment (i.e., the evaluation process has not been completed). No one can see the evaluation while it is In Progress except for the buyer who entered the evaluation in the CPS and/or the PO/COTR/Contractor if the evaluation was electronically sent to them for their review/comment. A Completed (finalized) report is one that has been sent to the contractor for review and either the contractor has returned comments or the 30 days has lapsed. It is set into the CPS as COMPLETED, and all CPS users may see the evaluation and use it for source selection.