Performance-Based Services Acquisition
By: Jacques Gansler, William Lucyshyn, Christopher Vorhis
Performance-based Services Acquisition (PBSA) is the government’s preferred approach to purchasing services (National Defense Authorization, 2000, § 821). These contracts specify the government’s desired end result without stipulating "how" a task should be performed, granting contractors the flexibility to complete its tasks in the manner the firm deems most appropriate. This method runs counter to traditional government contracts that explicitly state the processes a contractor must complete in order to perform the task in accordance with the contractual agreement (which is “input oriented,” i.e., compliance oriented, vs. “output oriented,” i.e., results oriented). If implemented correctly, PBSA will allow the Department of Defense (DoDIG) to attain better performance at lower cost in its services acquisitions than the DoD currently achieves.