(a) Pursuant to the guidelines in 1816.402, NASA has determined that a performance incentive shall be included in all contracts that are based on performance-oriented documents (see FAR 11.101(a)), except those awarded under the commercial item procedures of FAR Part 12, where the primary deliverable(s) is (are) hardware with a total value (including options) greater than $25 million. Any exception to this requirement shall be approved in writing by the head of the contracting activity. Performance incentives may be included in supply and service contracts valued under $25 million, acquired under procedures other than Part 12, at the discretion of the contracting officer upon consideration of the guidelines in 1816.402. Performance incentives, which are objective and measure performance after delivery and acceptance, are separate from other incentives, such as cost or delivery incentives.

(b) When a performance incentive is used, it shall be structured to be both positive and negative based on performance after acceptance, unless the contract type requires complete contractor liability for product performance (e.g., fixed price). In this latter case, a negative incentive is not required. In structuring the incentives, the contract shall establish a standard level of performance based on the salient performance requirement. This standard performance level is normally the contract's target level of performance. No performance incentive amount is earned at this standard performance level. Discrete units of measurement based on the same performance parameter shall be identified for performance above and, when a negative incentive is used, below the standard. Specific incentive amounts shall be associated with each performance level from maximum beneficial performance (maximum positive incentive) to, when a negative incentive is included, minimal beneficial performance or total failure (maximum negative incentive). The relationship between any given incentive, either positive or negative, and its associated unit of measurement should reflect the value to the Government of that level of performance. The contractor should not be rewarded for above-standard performance levels that are of no benefit to the Government.

(c) The final calculation of the performance incentive shall be done when performance, as defined in the contract, ceases or when the maximum positive incentive is reached. When performance ceases below the standard established in the contract and a negative incentive is included, the Government shall calculate the amount due and the contractor shall pay the Government that amount. Once performance exceeds the standard, the contractor may request payment of the incentive amount associated with a given level of performance, provided that such payments shall not be more frequent than monthly. When performance ceases above the standard level of performance, or when the maximum positive incentive is reached, the Government shall calculate the final performance incentive earned and unpaid and promptly remit it to the contractor.

(d) When the deliverable supply or service lends itself to multiple, meaningful measures of performance, multiple performance incentives may be established. When the contract requires the sequential delivery of several items (e.g., multiple spacecraft), separate performance incentive structures may be established to parallel the sequential delivery and use of the deliverables.

(e) In determining the value of the maximum performance incentives available, the contracting officer shall follow the following rules:

(1) For a CPFF contract, the sum of the maximum positive performance incentive and fixed fee shall not exceed the limitations in FAR 15.404-4(c)(4)(i).

(2) For an award fee contract.

(i) The individual values of the maximum positive performance incentive and the total potential award fee (including any base fee) shall each be at least one-third of the total potential contract fee. The remaining one-third of the total potential contract fee may be divided between award fee and the maximum performance incentive at the discretion of the contracting officer.

(ii) The maximum negative performance incentive for research and development hardware (e.g., the first and second units) shall be equal in amount to the total earned award fee (including any base fee). The maximum negative performance incentives for production hardware (e.g., the third and all subsequent units of any hardware items) shall be equal in amount to the total potential award fee (including any base fee). Where one contract contains both cases described above, any base fee shall be allocated reasonably among the items.

(3) For cost reimbursement contracts other than award fee contracts, the maximum negative performance incentives shall not exceed the total earned fee under the contract.

[62 FR 3478, Jan. 23, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 58687, Oct. 30, 1997; 63 FR 9965, Feb. 27, 1998; 63 FR 12997, Mar. 17, 1998; 63 FR 28285, May 22, 1998; 68 FR 23424, May 2, 2003; 69 FR 21764, Apr. 22, 2004; 80 FR 12937, Mar. 12, 2015]

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