Why Past Performance is Important

When you submit a proposal to an agency you will generally be asked to include past performance history – references and examples of previous work you have performed.  Agencies are often risk-averse, and wary of doing business with a company they know little about, so your excellent past performance could be a major factor in making them comfortable awarding that contract to you.


Build an in-house library of past performance references, making sure that contact details are kept up-to-date.  Talk to your prospective references, so they are ready for the agency’s call or email.


You may be asked to include past performance history directly with your proposal. Sometimes the proposal contains a questionnaire that your references must complete and send directly to the contracting officer.


Your references will generally be asked to respond to questions such as:

  • Did your work meet or exceed the requirements of the contract?
  • Did you keep control of costs and budgets?
  • Were you able to keep to an agreed schedule?
  • Did you properly complete any administrative paperwork that was required?
  • Was the customer generally satisfied with the outcome?
  • Does your company have a good sense of business ethics?


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