Where a prequalified consultant is used, a Prequalified Consultant Performance Report must be completed for every consultancy valued at over $10 000. A report must be prepared and forwarded to Treasury when the consultancy is completed OR when it is terminated due to unsatisfactory performance.
It is recommended that agencies prepare progressive performance reports during the consultancy term as a means of documenting performance for either internal own use or as justification for termination if issues identified are not able to be resolved.
Responsibility for completion of performance reports should be assigned to the person best able to make factual assessments against the evaluation criteria. This is usually the project officer (manager).
Review and certification of the reporting officer's appraisal should be made by an officer experienced in consultancy management. The reviewing officer's task is to ensure that the report is objective and accurate to the extent that it can be relied upon in making accountable decisions related to registration or regrading of consultants, or the selection of a consultant.
The reporting person and the reviewing officer should ensure that comments are not untruthful, malicious or defamatory. In particular, comments should commence with "in my opinion ...".
Copies of reports must be forwarded to the Manager, Contracts, Procurement and Property Branch (contact details below).
Documentation of poor performance
When an agency first becomes aware of poor performance, the allocated responsible officer should meet with the consultant to outline shortcomings and state areas of concern. The agency should seek from the consultant the means by which they intend to resolve the problem and by what date, and advise the consultant that the Department of Treasury and Finance has a reporting system that is used to provide data that may result in the consultants future tenders being passed over, or the consultants prequalification registration being downgraded.
Should the performance fail to improve in a reasonable time, the agency should prepare a report that details the issues or concerns and discuss these concerns with the consultant. The consultant should to be given the opportunity to comment on the issues and concerns and rectification should be discussed. The report does not need to be forwarded to Treasury at this stage but is useful as documentary evidence of the issues should unsatisfactory performance not improve.
Completion or termination of contract
When a consultancy valued at more than $10 000 is completed or terminated, a report is to be prepared by the agency. A pro-forma Consultant Performance Report is available for use.
After an assessment has been made in accordance with the standard criteria, the overall performance should be measured by assessment of whether the consultant demonstrated a planned and committed approach to achieving the cost, time and quality performance requirements defined in the agreement.
The consultant is to be given the opportunity to comment on the report, and the consultant's comments should be appended to the report.
When performance has been unsatisfactory, the report must be accompanied by concise backup evidence and all relevant details of the unsatisfactory performance. This material should include:
- minutes of any relevant meeting with the consultant where the adverse performance was discussed;
- any written response by the consultant to the adverse assessment;
- outcome of any agency review of the consultant's performance; and
- status of any review being undertaken.
The report should be reviewed in accordance with the following procedure:
- The agency will convene a meeting between the consultant, the person who prepared the report, and the person who reviewed the report.
- The agency personnel will discuss the report with the consultant.
- The consultant will be given the opportunity to comment on the contents of the report.
- The report may be adjusted at the discretion of the agency.
- The matters raised at the meeting will be minuted.
The completed report is to be sent to the Manager, Contracts, Procurement and Property Branch, Department of Treasury and Finance, who will maintain a data base for the information. A copy should be forwarded to the consultant.
The completed report should be forwarded within a reasonable time period after the completion of the contract.
Standard Performance Criteria and Evaluation
Evaluation against performance criteria must be a measure of the consultant's performance during the whole of the consultancy, after taking into account matters beyond the consultant's control.
This can be achieved in an overall objective assessment from the officer making the report by using the rating system detailed in the Consultant Reporting Rating System below.
The standard performance criteria are:
- time management;
- standard of service;
- quality assurance;
- quality of personnel;
- co-ordination of sub-consultants; and
- other criteria.
Thereafter, the agency should make a determination on whether the consultant should be recommended as suitable for further work.
With many consultancies it can be difficult to easily identify measurable program deliverables apart from the completion date. Specific project milestones should be clearly established between an agency and a consultant prior to the commencement of any work. As a minimum there should be progress reports on specific activities.
The following matters should be considered when assessing the performance of a consultant:
- ability to meet programmed milestones;
- overall progress of the work; and
- timely submission of progress reports.
Standard of Service
Standard of service will generally be measured against the requirements of the project brief. Therefore, the following matters should be considered:
- compliance with brief;
- quality of work;
- value for money;
- reviews and reports delivered in accordance with the brief;
- management of project; and
- adherence to budget.
The evaluation of the consultant's performance for quality assurance should be assessed against the following criteria:
- the extent of the consultant's compliance with the specified quality systems standard;
- the number of major or minor non-compliances discovered during a Principal's audit; and
- the number of recurring major or minor non-conformance reports issued by a consultant and the effectiveness of corrective action taken by the consultant.
Quality of Personnel
The suitability and quality of the personnel should be assessed against the following criteria:
- suitability of personnel:
- types of discipline; and
- qualification and experience of personnel; and
- bid personnel compared to actual personnel engaged on the work.
Co-ordination of Sub-consultants
The consultant's proficiency in managing sub-consultants and timeliness in regard to the delivery of services from and payment of sub-consultants should be assessed against the following criteria:
- consultant's ability to manage external sub-consultants;
- ensuring timely delivery of services;
- ensuring timely payment of sub-consultants; and
- co-ordination of interfaces.
Other performance criteria may be added to meet an agency's or a consultancy's specific performance requirements. However, an agency should advise a consultant, prior to the engagement, of any additional assessment criteria, and performance against these criteria should be assessed accordingly.
Suitability for Further Work
The reporting officer and the reviewing officer shall, after taking into account the consultant's overall performance, determine the consultant's suitability for further work.
Exchange of Information
A report which is prepared in accordance with the procedures specified above will be available to Tasmanian Government agencies. The information should be treated as confidential. Enquirers should be seeking the information on reasonable grounds and for a proper purpose. For further information on accessing reports, contact the Manager, Contracts, Procurement and Property Branch, (contact details below).
Consultant Reporting Rating System
Consultant performance rating shall be allocated points against the performance criteria (time management, standard of service etc), based on the rating scale below:
Performance Rating Formula
The reporting person shall determine the performance rating using the formula:
A = consultant's point score x 100
total possible points
This gives you a percentage assessment "A".
The consultant's point score is the total of the points scored against the performance criteria.
The total maximum points may vary from report to report, depending on the number of performance criteria the consultant is graded against.
Consultant's Overall Performance
The assessment percentage shall then be graded in accordance with the following:
Clauses for Inclusion in the Consultancy Documents
Tenders should be advised that during the course of a contract, the consultant's performance will be monitored. Notification may be provided in the original Notice to Tenderers in the following form:
"It should be clearly understood that during the course of the consultancy the consultant's performance will be monitored and evaluated and that all information gathered as part of that process may be used by all areas of the Tasmanian Government for the purpose of evaluating future submissions or offers by the consultant to perform works."
Conditions of Tendering or Letter of Invitation
Regardless of whether advice has been provided to consultants in the original notice, the following clauses must be included in the tender documents to ensure that contractors are quite clear on the Government's policy in regard to the recording and reporting of consultant performance.
"By tendering for this contract, the consultant acknowledges:
- that the performance of the works by the successful consultant will be monitored and evaluated by the Principal (or his authorised officer);
- that the successful consultant will be required to provide such assistance as is required by the Principal (or his authorised officer) in relation to the above-mentioned monitoring and evaluation;
- that all information provided to the Principal (or his authorised officer) for the purposes of the above-mentioned monitoring and evaluation will not be regarded as confidential; and
- that all the information gathered by the Principal (or his authorised officer) for the purposes of the above-mentioned monitoring and evaluation may be used by all areas of the Tasmanian Government for the purpose of evaluating future submissions or offers by the successful consultant to perform other works."
General Conditions of Contract
The following clause should be contained in all contracts:
"The consultant agrees:
- that the performance of the work will be monitored and evaluated by the Principal (or his authorised officer);
- to provide such assistance as is required by the Principal (or his authorised officer) in relation to the above-mentioned monitoring and evaluation;
- that all information provided to the Principal (or his authorised officer) for the purposes of the above-mentioned monitoring or evaluation will not be regarded as confidential; and
- that all information gathered by the Principal (or his authorised officer) for the purposes of the above-mentioned monitoring and evaluation may be used by all areas of the Tasmanian Government for the purposes of evaluating future tenders or offers by the consultant to perform other works."