While you might not be able to fight City Hall, you can fight your CPARS rating. In a short opinion published May 1st, the ASBCA confirmed it has jurisdiction to annul an inaccurate and unfair government evaluation of a contractor’s performance. Cameron Bell Corporation d/b/a Government Solutions Group, ASBCA No. 61856 (May 1, 2019). Though the ASBCA cannot require the government to issue a specific rating, it can remand the matter to the contracting officer with instructions to redo the evaluation ─ a perhaps imperfect, yet still potent form of relief available to contractors who believe the government has improperly rated their contract performance.
By regulation, contractors are entitled to rebut a negative evaluation of their performance in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System, or CPARS. FAR 42.1503(d). A contractor’s rebuttal submission typically is due within 14 calendar days of the date the agency invites the contractor to respond. See id. If this proves unsuccessful, a contractor may challenge the CPARS rating by submitting a claim with the contracting officer under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). See, e.g., Cameron Bell, ASBCA No. 61856, 2019 WL 2067642 (May 1, 2019). Then, if the contracting officer denies the claim, the contractor can appeal the decision to an appropriate Board of Contract Appeals or the United States Court of Federal Claims.
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