NATIONAL LABORATORIES: DOE Needs to Assess the Impact of Using Performance-Based Contracts.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIV
Pagination or Media Count:
DOES use of performance-based contracting for its laboratories is in a state of transition. While all laboratory contracts we examined had some performance-based features, we found wide variance in the number of performance measures and the types of fees negotiated. About half of the 18 laboratory contracts have performance fees to encourage superior performance - a major goal of performance-based contracting. Most of the remaining laboratory contracts are still based on DOES traditional fixed-fee arrangement in which the fees are paid regardless of performance. DOE has not evaluated the impact of performance-based contracting on its laboratory contractors and, as a result, does not know if this new form of contracting is achieving the intended results of improved performance and lower costs. Specifically, DOE has not determined whether giving higher fees to encourage superior performance by its laboratory contractors is advantageous to the government, although we recommended in 1994 that DOE develop criteria for measuring the costs and benefits to the government of using higher fees. Fees for the laboratories totaled over 100 million for fiscal year 1998. While the contractors were unable to cite measurable benefits achieved by switching to performance-based contracting, they support its goals. The main benefits from performance-based contracting cited by laboratory contractors was that it has helped DOE clarify what it expects from the contractors and that it has improved communication.
- Economics and Cost Analysis