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PACTS III Past Performances: Insights from the Latest PACTS III Webinar (Part 2)

In our continued exploration of mastering PACTS III bidding strategies, we delve deeper into the crucial aspects of past performance, focusing on recency, relevance, and implications. This article delves into the intricacies of recency, relevance, and preponderance of work, providing crucial insights and addressing frequently asked questions.

Understanding Recency and Relevance

Recent past performance is key to demonstrating your capabilities in DHS contracting. To meet the recency requirement, your past performance must cover a mandatory six-month consecutive performance period within the last two years or 730 calendar days since the final RFP issuance. This ensures that your experience remains relevant and up-to-date, aligning with the needs of the contract.

Relevance is equally important, emphasizing the need to match past performance with the specific functional category under consideration. Each project can only be used once per proposal, and satisfactory or higher ratings are a must. By focusing on recent and relevant past performance, contractors can enhance their competitiveness and showcase their expertise effectively.


Addressing Common Questions:

Q: What defines recent past performance?

A: Recent past performance means at least six consecutive months of work within the last two years or 730 days from the final RFP release date

Q: Do big, fast-tracked deals qualify as recent?

A: Even for large projects, the six-month performance period rule applies to qualify as recent past performance.

Q: How does relevance factor into past performance evaluation?

A: Relevance is all about matching your past experience to the specific scope of each PACTS III functional category. Make sure your project aligns with the designated category to demonstrate relevance.

Q: What constitutes predominant services/work?

A: This refers to the main type of work done on a project. To claim a project for past performance, figure out who did the most work – you (the prime) or a subcontractor. Clear communication and collaboration are key to avoiding conflicts.

Q: How does contract value impact past performance evaluation?

A: Contract value matters! Each past performance reference needs a minimum of $1 million in obligated funds. This shows tangible financial commitment, not just theoretical numbers.

Q: What is the significance of the 60%, 40% ratio in past performance evaluation?

A:  The 60%, 40% ratio delineates the distribution of past performance references between the prime and subcontractors. While the prime contractor must contribute at least 60% of the past performance references, subcontractors can contribute up to 40%. This allocation ensures a balanced evaluation of past performance across the contracting team.

Q: Do I need to double-check every past performance reference with past subcontracts?

A: Yes! Avoid conflicting claims by deconflicting your past performance references with prior subcontracts, as per Q&A on PACTS III. If you miss this step, your project reference might get deleted from all proposals. Remember, clear communication is key!


Key Takeaways:

Eligible contracts: Federal prime contracts, first-tier subcontractor roles in federal or commercial contracts, commercial contracts, and single task orders with distinct scope.

Preponderance of work: Determining the preponderance of work is critical in selecting past performance references. Contractors must assess which party, whether prime or subcontractor, performed the predominant portion of the work on a contract. Collaboration between primes and subcontractors is essential to avoid conflicting claims and maximize the utilization of past performance.

Contract value: Focus on obligated funds, not just total contract value, for past performance references (minimum $1 million).



  • Carefully review your CPARs for potential negative ratings that could impact evaluation.
  • Leverage the 40% allowance for projects from subcontractors or JV partners that don't meet socioeconomic qualifications.


Mastering past performance evaluation in PACTS III bidding requires a clear understanding of the criteria and strategic alignment of past performance references. By focusing on recent, relevant, and collaborative approaches, Federal contractors can enhance their competitiveness and position themselves for success in DHS contracting.

Stay tuned for more articles exploring bidding challenges and strategies! And if you need help navigating the PACTS III landscape, contact us today – we're here to empower your journey!

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