Performance-Based Acquisition (PBA) - formerly Performance-Based Contracting (PBC) - is a technique for structuring all aspects of an acquisition around the purpose and outcome desired as opposed to the process by which the work is to be performed. PBA is not a new acquisition strategy; it has been around since the 1990s. PBA is contracting for results!
Seven Steps to Performance-Based Services Acquisition
Performance-Based Service Acquisition (PBSA)
PBSA is an acquisition structured around the results to be achieved as opposed to the manner by which the work is to be performed. Orders placed under ITES-2S are not required to be performance-based under all circumstances. However, policy promulgated by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2001 (PL 106-398, section 821), FAR 37.102, and FAR 16.505(a), establishes PBSA as the preferred method for acquiring services. In addition, for Defense agencies, DFARS 237.170-2 requires higher-level approval for any acquisition of services that is not performance-based. Accordingly, it is expected that most ITES-2S orders will be performance-based. A Performance Work Statement (PWS) or Statement of Objectives (SOO) should be prepared to accompany the Task Order Request (TOR) to the ITES-2S contractors.
Performance-Based Acquisition Center of Excellence
ITES-2S places a premium on performance-based acquisition, requiring its carefully pre-selected vendors to accept and abide by a stringent set of performance commitments. Relying on the IBM Center for the Business of Government, our personnel are available to guide customers with their performance-based acquisitions. White papers, Statement of Objectives (SOO) templates, sample Quality Assurance Surveillance Plans (QASPs), and overall PBC process guidance are made available at no charge.
Federal Acquisition Regulations Relevant to PBA and PBSA
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (link resides outside of ibm.com) specifically states, performance-based contracting is the preferred method for acquiring services and all agencies must use performance-based acquisition (PBA) to the maximum extent practicable. Additionally, the FAR prescribes policies, application for use to include excluded services, required elements, and the preferred contract type, firm-fixed price, when using PBA.
FAR Section 1.102, Statement of Guiding Principles for the Federal Acquisition System
FAR Section 2.101, Definitions (notably Subpart 7.5 and provisions at 7.105)
FAR Part 7, Acquisition Planning (notably Subpart 7.5 and provisions at 7.105)
FAR Part 10, Market Research
FAR Part 11, Describing Agency Requirements (notably provisions at 11.101 and 11.106)
FAR Section 37.102, Policy
FAR Subpart 37.6, Performance-Based Contracting (PBC)
FAR Part 37, Service Contracting
FAR Subpart 39.104 Information Technology Services
When acquiring information technology services, solicitations must not describe any minimum experience or educational requirement for proposed contractor personnel unless the contracting officer determines that the needs of the agency-
(a) Cannot be met without that requirement; or
(b) Require the use of other than a performance-based contract (see Subpart 37.6).
FAR Part 46, Quality Assurance (notably provisions at 46.103 and 46.401)