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Government's Dirty Little Secret About (QASPs)

Read Time 1 mins | Written by: Lisa Akers

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Government’s Dirty Little Secret about

Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASPs):


The Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP) is an important tool for monitoring and evaluating contractor performance in government contracts. It helps government personnel assess how well the contractor is performing.

Typically, a QASP is required when the requirements document is performance-based, such as a Performance Work Statement (PWS) or Statement of Objectives (SOO). However, it can also be useful when the requirements are described in a Statement of Work (SOW).

Many acquisition professionals include a QASP in their contract files. So, here's the "dirty little secret": once created and filed away, QASPs are often rarely referenced unless there are delivery issues. The true purpose of a QASP is to ensure the quality, quantity, and timeliness of the outcomes delivered by the contractor. It should focus on the desired results rather than the specific steps or procedures.

A well-designed QASP outlines reasonable surveillance methods that the Government can perform throughout the contract's duration. It should contain no more than 5 to 10 items to ensure the Government's resources are focused on the most critical aspects.

According to FAR 37.604, the Government can either develop the QASP or request offerors to submit a proposed QASP for consideration. It's advisable for the Government to seek industry feedback on a draft QASP included in RFI or draft RFP/RFQs. This way, the Government can leverage the quality assurance methods of industry partners who have established quality management systems related to ISO and CMMI certifications.

Stay tuned for our next blog on QASPs, where we will discuss how to refresh your QASP with clear performance objectives, creative metrics, and effective surveillance techniques. We will also share a case study from an agency we supported in creating and actively using a new QASP.

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Lisa Akers

Ms. Lisa Akers brings 25 years of proven Federal and Industry leadership experience, as well as extensive functional expertise in acquisition, program management, assisted acquisition shared services and business operations management. As Executive Vice President of Solutions at Seventh Sense Consulting (SSC), Ms. Akers is responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to meet client requirements and objectives. Prior to joining Seventh Sense Consulting, Ms. Akers served as President (2013- 2016) for ASI Government’s Products and Solutions Division where she was responsible for managing the Virtual Acquisition Office (VAO) used by 25,000 federal acquisition professionals and as President (2010 – 2013) for ASI’s Consulting Division that had a $35M portfolio focused on acquisition and program management support services to federal government agencies. Prior to joining ASI Government, Ms. Akers spent over 16 years in the General Services Administration, Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (GSA FEDSIM) where she was the FEDSIM Director for her last five years and Deputy Director for the previous four years. FEDSIM is an assisted acquisition organization specializing in large information technology and services acquisitions with $1.4B annual obligations on behalf of 100+ other federal agencies. Ms. Akers received the 2011 FED100 award for her work as Industry Lead for the ACT-IAC 25 Points to IT Acquisition Reform and the 2006 FED100 award for industry outreach and stakeholder management for the ALLIANT and ALLIANT SB GWACs. She received the Meritorious Service Award while at GSA. She holds a bachelor's degree in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, and a master's degree in Information Technology Systems from George Washington University.