What is ‘Past Performance’?

When a solicitation is issued, agencies frequently require you to submit ‘Past Performance’ information – examples of previous contracts you have performed, that are similar in size and scope to the work described in the solicitation document.

In the Evaluation section of the solicitation the agency will indicate how important past performance will be when they evaluate your proposal. Sometimes price is the most important factor, but at other times past performance can be a critical evaluation factor.  Procurement officers need to be confident that you will be able to complete the work satisfactorily.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 42.15 lists specific examples of what they are looking for, including:

  • Conforming to requirements and to standards of good workmanship
  • Forecasting and controlling costs
  • Adherence to schedules, including the administrative aspects of performance
  • Reasonable and cooperative behavior and commitment to customer satisfaction
  • Reporting into databases and reporting requirements in the solicitation provisions and clauses
  • Integrity and business ethics
  • Business-like concern for the interest of the customer


When you submit your past performance examples, try to address these specific issues rather than simply providing a list of similar projects. Addressing these specific concerns can set your proposal apart from the pack.

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