Federal agencies are not relying enough on each other’s contractor past-performance data in making new awards, due to the unreliability of the information or difficulty assessing its relevance, says a new study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The report, requested by Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says even with the creation in 2002 of a governmentwide retrieval system for such data, its use is not widespread. It reviewed 62 fiscal 2007 and 2008 solicitations in the Depts. of Energy, Defense and Homeland Security, among oth- ers, and interviewed 121 contracting officials.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.