Performance-Based Contracting in the Air Force: A Report on by John Ausnik

By John Ausnik

In its performance-based providers acquisitions activites, the Air strength specializes in telling a supplier what the Air strength wishes instead of how the supplier should still meet that desire.

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Extra info for Performance-Based Contracting in the Air Force: A Report on Experiences in the Field

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Eventually, the “visibility” argument—in addition to the importance of MFH for quality of life—convinced ACC headquarters to allow the award fee. The award-fee criteria were usually a combination of objective measures (such as statistical comparisons of performance with requirements in the SOW) and subjective measures (a committee’s assessment of “quality”), and in all cases the criteria were clearly outlined for the vendor. Our interviews revealed that most bases had not considered using award terms.

It is important to note that while contracting personnel are receiving some measure of training on PBSA, many functional personnel are not. This is particularly troubling for PBSA, since it requires teamwork to function effectively. The ability of personnel at these bases to implement PBSA—as well as their satisfaction with their implementation—is all the more remarkable given this training experience to date. We were impressed by the initiative those we interviewed had shown in finding their own way to the information needed to complete their (typically) first performancebased services acquisition.

The refuse contract required the purchase of new equipment, and the base extended the contract period for two years in order to allow the vendor to amortize the capital improvement costs over a longer period. One AETC custodial contract was slightly unusual as well. The previous contractor was terminated for poor performance after a year and a half. The current contract uses five six-month options to allow for integration into a forthcoming A-76 study. 20 An FFP contract provides a price that is not subject to adjustment on the basis of the contractor’s cost experience in performing the contract.

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