Frequently Asked Questions (Policy)
1. How do I obtain access to the system?
A: Access is granted by a network of government Focal Points. Typically there are many Focal Points assigned to the agency. If you require assistance with identifying your Focal Point, please email the helpdesk with the contract/order number you are trying to access and they will provide you with the Focal Point name and contact information.
2. I received a system email with a User ID, but how do I obtain a password or have my password reset when I’m locked out of my account?
A: Please use the Forgot Password button at the login screen to reset your password.
3. I can't figure out some of the special characters or symbols in the temporary password?
A: Please copy and paste the temporary password into the password field. To do this, use your mouse to highlight the temporary password. Right click on the highlighted password and choose copy. Go to the login screen and place the cursor in the password field then perform a right click and choose the paste option.
4. When browsing a CPAR or after updating a record, I am unable to view the CPAR as a PDF file. What’s wrong?
A: The Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed to view the PDF. The reader can be downloaded from Download Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you have any problems downloading or installing the plugin, please contact our Technical Support.
5. Our activity uses Macintosh computers. Can the CPARS AIS be used on a Macintosh system?
A: Yes. The CPARS AIS is web-based so most actions are completed directly from your browser. All data inputs may be completed on a Macintosh system. However, the Adobe Acrobat Reader for Macintosh must be installed to print/view CPARs in PDF format.
6. There has been some discussion about invalid CAGE Codes lately. What is a valid CAGE Code?
A: A valid CAGE Code is a five (5) position code that identifies companies doing or wishing to do business with the Federal Government. The format for a domestic CAGE code is the first and fifth position must be numeric. The second, third and fourth positions may be alpha or numeric and may not be “I” and "O." However, there are foreign/international CAGE Codes that begin with an alpha character, including the letter "I," but not the letter "O." The CPARS Automated Information System provides a look-up feature to help users verify that they are entering correct and valid CAGE Codes.
7. How do I cut and paste a MSWord document into the CPAR without having characters change or disappear?
A: There are a complete set of step by step instructions explaining this process. Follow this link for the instruction page.
8. I am receiving emails stating that I have been granted access to CPARS and more emails stating I must perform an action on an evaluation. Why?
A: A government Focal Point has given you access to CPARS. Please contact the Focal Point for questions regarding system access. If you are unable to determine who the Focal Point is, please contact the Help Desk and they can provide the name and contact information.
9. When I use To Do List or View/Print options to view an evaluation I don’t see any contractor comments and I know they responded.
A: The evaluation was modified by the Assessing Official after the contractor commented. When you open the evaluation from the "To Do List," click on the "Original Ratings" tab and the contractor’s comments are included there. If you use "View/Print" button on the Main Menu, once the evaluation opens, click on "View Original CPAR" at the top of the record and the contractor comments will be visible. The contractor’s comments remain with the Original record since the comments were based on the original ratings and narratives.
10. I received an email stating that I have an evaluation to work on, but when I log into the system I do not have access to that contract.
A: Please make sure that you are entering the contract number and order number correctly. e.g., no typos and in the right fields. If you still do not have access, please make sure that you are logged into the system at the correct access level. The access level you are logged in as is at the top of the Main Menu in the green bar. To switch access levels, use the "Change User Profile/ Switch Access Level" button at the Main Menu. Choose the correct level from the drop down and click "Switch."
11. I am receiving an error message stating I can not forward the evaluation onto the next level because no one is assigned to the level.
A: Please contact your Focal Point to have them add a user to the system for that level. The Focal Point name and contact information can be obtained by running the CPAR Status Report, choosing the "List of CPARs" option and clicking on the "User List" for the particular contract number.
12. My Contracting Officer issued a modification that extends the contract completion date. How can I update this contract, which is already registered in the system?
A: To update a registered contract/order, login to the system and click on the “Register/Update a Contract” button. Enter the contract number in the contract number field and the task order number if applicable in the task order number field and click "Continue." The previously registered contract/order appears and any of the data elements can be updated and saved.
13. Where do I go if I have other questions on the CPARS Automated Information System?
A: Contact our Help Desk:
1. Why do I still need a User ID if I have a PKI certificate?
A: A User ID is required because many users have more than one User ID for the system because they have more than one access level. The system needs to be able to distinguish which level of access a user is logging into so the user can perform the required actions.
2. What type of PKI certificate should I purchase?
A: At least an ECA certificate of Medium Assurance should be purchased. This should be a Department of Defense (DoD) identity certificate, not an email certificate.
3. I’m attempting to login, but am receiving an error message stating that the User ID I entered does not match the PKI certification information.
A: If you have received a new CAC or PKI certificate since your last login, you will need to contact the helpdesk to remove your certificate from the system.
4. When I go to the website I am getting an error message that indicates "There is a problem with this website's security certificate."
A: Please click on the option to “Continue to this website (not recommended).” The error is due to a security setting in Internet Explorer 7.
Focal Point [top]
1. I received an email stating that I granted access to contracts/orders that are available for Auto Register, but when I go to Auto Register those contracts/orders are not there.
A: It’s likely the contracts/orders have been removed from the Auto Register Contracts listing. To see what’s been removed, click on "Auto Register" from the Main Menu. At the next screen, you can search by Contract Office Code or Full or Partial Contract Number. You’ll want to place a check in the box adjacent to Include Removed Contracts and then run the report. Click on the contract/order number to register the contract/order.
Assessing Official [top]
1. I've entered Blocks 1-20 of a proposed CPAR. When I click on "Save," I receive a message "Period of Performance Start Date Missing or Invalid." I've checked the format of the start date and it looks fine to me. What's wrong?
A: Check the format of the ending date. Both dates must be in the MM/DD/YYYY format. Usually the error is caused by failing to enter a leading "0" (zero) for the months January through September (01 - 09) or inadvertently omitting one of the "/" (slash) characters. In order to prevent this problem, it is recommended that you enter the date using the pop-up calendar. The date will automatically be formatted properly when the calendar is used.
2. I received an email stating that the evaluation has not been completed in 120 days and is overdue. I logged in, but I have no actions for that evaluation in my "To Do List." The email states it is Finalized. What is my action?
A: Finalized means that the Reviewing Official has the action to sign and close the evaluation. You will want to contact the Reviewing Official and have them close the evaluation. You can use the CPAR Status Report to obtain the Reviewing Official's name by running a report, choose “List of CPARs” and then click on "User List." If a Reviewing Official is not assigned to the evaluation please contact the Focal Point so that they may assign one.
3. I have entered my supporting narrative, but it is over the 24,000 character limit. Is there anything I can do?
A: There is no way to extend the character limitation or upload a file with additional narrative. You will need to revise your comments to 24,000 or fewer characters.
4. How do I extend the contractor’s 30 day review period?
A: There is no specific action required to extend the 30 day review period. Once the 30 day review period expires, the evaluation will appear on your To Do List. To extend the contractor’s review period, do not retrieve the evaluation from your To Do List. Once you retrieve the evaluation and continue with the process, the contractor will no longer have access to the record for review and comment.
5. I’m trying to initiate an evaluation, but it tells me that an evaluation already exists that covers some or all of the period of performance.
A: This message means that there is already an evaluation in CPARS that covers some or all of the Period of Performance being entered. To check the Period of Performance dates of the prior CPAR, use the CPAR Status Report. Run the report selecting “List of CPARs” and then click on the applicable contract number for the prior CPAR.
6. I received an email stating that the CPAR is overdue for a specific period of performance. I know that I have previously completed a CPAR for that period of performance. Why am I receiving this email?
A: You are likely receiving this email because the CPAR report type was marked incorrectly or the contract completion date was not updated. To check the CPAR report type, use the CPAR Status Report. Run the report selecting “List of CPARs” and choosing CPAR Phase. If the CPAR phase is marked correctly, check the contract completion date on the most recent CPAR. To check the contract completion date, click on the contract/order number. If the contract completion date is erroneously entered, use the Register a Contract function located on the Main Menu to correct the date.
7. I have a contract that is only one year long. What type of CPAR do I write, an Interim or a Final?
A: If the contract/order is only one year long, a Final CPAR should be written.
Contractor Rep [top]
1. I received an email stating that I’ve been given access to a contract/order. When I log into the system, click View/Print and input the contract/order number, I receive an error message that states "You do not have access to contract number XXX.”
A: The email you received was a system generated email letting you know that you were granted access to the system. You will receive an additional email when you have an action to view and comment on an evaluation. As a contractor you can only view an evaluation when it is in the Rated or Completed status. You can run a CPAR Status Report to determine the status of your contracts/evaluations.
2. I received an email stating that I had an evaluation to review and comment on, where do I find my evaluation so that I can review it and enter comments?
A: In order to review and comment on an evaluation go to www.cpars.gov. On the left side of the page, click on the CPARS link. On the left side of the page, click on CPARS Logon. Read the Notice and Consent Banner and click Accept. If you have a Department of Defense PKI certificate, click "Contractor Logon (PKI)". If you do not have a Department of Defense PKI Certificate, click "Contractor Logon (No PKI)". Enter your User ID and Password (note that if you are using a PKI certificate, you will only need to enter a User ID once you have logged in for the first time using a Password). If this is your first time logging in, use the Forgot Password button to reset your password. Once you have logged in, click the CPARS button. Next click on the "To Do List." Next click on the contract number and the evaluation will open. Once you review and comment, click on the "Contractor Rep" tab and enter the required information—and don’t forget to click on Validate and Send to the Assessing Official to complete the process.
3. I received an email stating that I had an evaluation to review and comment on. I logged into the system clicked View/Print, and entered the contract number but there is no place for me to enter my comments.
A: In order to review and comment on an evaluation just click on the "To Do List." Next click on the contract number and the evaluation will open. Once you review and comment, click on the "Contractor Rep" tab and enter the required information—and don’t forget to click on Validate and Send to the Assessing Official to complete the process.
4. My company received an email that states that we have an evaluation to review and comment on. When I log into the system, the evaluation does not appear on my To Do List. When I click View/Print, and enter the contract number the system states I don't have access to the evaluation.
A: Only the Contractor Representative who received the email has access to the evaluation. If you require access to the evaluation you will need to contact the government Focal Point. If you are unable to determine who the Focal Point is please contact the Help Desk and they can provide the name and contact information.
Frequently Asked Questions (Policy) [top]
1. If I have a contract that meets all the requirements for preparing a CPAR, but the contract has recently closed, do I still have to do a CPAR?
A: For Department of Defense users, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) Memo “Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS)” requires that CPARs that are due or overdue for contracts that began in FY08 or later or in FY07 and earlier be completed if the following conditions apply: 1) the individual assessing the contractor’s performance is available, 2) has sufficient knowledge of the contractor’s performance for the period in question, 3) has documentation to support narratives and ratings for the period in question, 4) has periodically communicated with the contractor regarding performance for the period in question. If your closed contract meets these conditions, you must complete a CPAR.
Other Agency users should contact their Agency point of contact for assistance.
2. Do I have to do a CPAR for RDT&E contracts?
A: For Department of Defense users, no. If the RDT&E contracts are funded with 6.1 (Basic Research), 6.2 (Exploratory Development), or 6.3 (Advanced Technology Development) funds a CPAR is not required because they fall under the Science and Technology Sector which is not applicable to CPARS. Refer to the CPARS Guidance page A1-5 for details. For Other Agency users, CPARs are required for RDT&E contracts.
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3. Who prepares a CPAR on an order under a Federal Supply Schedule?
A: CPARs for orders against Federal Supply Schedules are not prepared by GSA. It is the responsibility of the requiring activity to complete a separate CPAR for each order placed against a Federal Supply Schedule when the individual order exceeds the CPARS reporting thresholds. For these CPARs, the period of performance for the evaluation shall be based on the effective date/award date of the individual order.
4. Are outside CONUS contracting offices and contractors exempt from CPARS requirements?
A: There is no exemption for outside CONUS contracting offices or contractors.
5. How do I make note of a prime contractor's compliance with the sub-contractor performance plan submitted for the contract?
A: The CPAR contains a rating element for Utilization of Small Business. This element is used to assess compliance with all terms and conditions in the contract relating to small business participation including achievement on each individual goal stated in the contract or subcontracting plan. Appendix 3 and Appendix 4 of the CPARS Guidance contain specific instructions for assessing this rating element. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader
6. Are there forms available for completing CPARs containing classified information? Can I enter that information into the CPARS application?
A: Forms are available from the CPARS help desk at 207-438-1690. Classified information is not to be entered into the CPARS automated application. Use the on-line automated application for unclassified use only. CPARs on classified programs will be processed in accordance with program security requirements. Copies of classified CPARs will be maintained and distributed in accordance with agency procedures.
7. Are CPARs releasable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
A: Contractor performance information is privileged source selection information. It is also protected by the Privacy Act and is not releasable under the Freedom of Information Act. Performance evaluations may be withheld from public disclosure under Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act. Further, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 42.1503 (b) states: "The completed evaluation shall not be released to other than Government personnel and the contractor whose performance is being evaluated during the period the information may be used to provide source selection information." When a FOIA request is received for CPAR records, the unit FOIA office must refer the request to the CPAR focal point for coordination. The CPARS Program Manager at the Naval Sea Logistics Center, Portsmouth, NH, must also be notified via the Help Desk at Com: 207-438-1690 or email to: email@example.com. [top]