Due diligence “shouldn’t end after a contract is awarded” but should continue through all further contracting actions with that provider, the Postal Service IG has said in a blog posting whose message is pertinent to other agencies, as well.
“If you decide to work with the same contractor on a second project, maybe you won’t check references again, but you’re certainly going to make sure the first job was completed properly, on time, and within budget before rehiring, right?” the posting asked.
It noted, though, that in a recent audit of private delivery service contract renewals over 2018-2019, contracting officials did not always follow such policies, potentially missing out on potential cost savings and improved services from another offeror.
“For instance, based on our statistical sample, almost 80 percent of contracts didn’t always assess a supplier’s past performance or ensure that background screening documents for supplier eligibility were completed. Just over 60 percent didn’t have evidence of supplier performance, and in some cases, officials didn’t ensure suppliers were in good standing before renewing the contract,” it said.
The report found instances in which contracting officers “assumed performance was satisfactory and proceeded with the renewal regardless of whether they received supplier performance input from administrative officers.” It also said that nearly half of contracts it reviewed had incomplete or missing answers to background screening questions for contractor employees who have access to mail.