Contractor Recognition

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Michael Hulin
  • 17th Contracting Squadron commander
A vendor's past performance is a record of the work they have done both good and bad. Sometimes the 17th Contracting Squadron runs into past performance issues on contracts because of conflicting information. This happens when a squadron provides a vendor with an award of achievement without coordinating with quality assurance personnel. Quality assurance personnel track a vendor's performance for the government and document issues when specific contract performance requirements are not being met. When vendors receive certificates of acheivement from government personnel other than quality assurance they believe they are performing above standards and use this to fight any deficiencies they have in their performance.

For your reference, the regulations that authorize awards to government employees do not apply to vendors. The Department of Defense policy does not recognize private citizens or private entities that have a commercial or profit making relationship with the DoD. If individual vendor personnel have performed exceptionally well or made a contribution that significantly exceeds the terms of the contract, the government may acknowledge that contribution by a letter to the individual's company. This "letter of appreciation" must be coordinated with 17 CONS who will make sure that the letter has been reviewed by 17th Training Wing legal office. This is done to ensure the language does not improperly imply endorsement of the vendor.

The 17 TRW generally acquires nonpersonal services. Non-personal services means the furnishing of labor, time, or effort by a contractor, not involving delivery of a specific end product other than reports which are merely incidental to the required performance.Through their individual contracts, vendors provide a capability that must be tied to the contract statement of work. Vendor personnel are subject to the laws that apply to all individuals, the terms and conditions of their individual employment agreements with their employer and with the applicable terms and conditions of their employers' contract with the government. Under a nonpersonal services contract, the vendor's employer sets forth the employee's compensation, benefits and rewards. Under this arrangement, it's the vendor's duty to incentivize its employees and to increase morale and productivity.

The 17 CONS and quality assurance personnel constantly monitor and record vendor's demonstrated record of contract compliance in supplying products and services. Ultimately, good performance is rewarded by positive Contract Performance Assessment Reports which garner future business. The use of squadron awards programs for individual vendor personnel performance could potentially undermine the formal regulatory framework for monitoring such performance. The employee awards program ostensibly rewards superior individual effort. While this appears equitable to the individual, the 17 TRW ultimately depends on the output of the vendor as one entity. Bottom-line, it is up to the vendors to determine how awards/rewards are passed on to their individual employees.