Last week, Senators Feingold and Coburn proposed S. 3323, the “Federal Contracting Oversight and Reform Act of 2010.” The bill aims to improve the newly launched Federal Awardee Performance Integrity and Information System (FAPIIS)—the government’s database of contractors with criminal, civil, and administrative offenses.
POGO is supporting this bill because it would:
- Expand the scope of FAPIIS to include 10 years of nonresponsibility decisions and all administrative cases (the current version only includes administrative cases when there is a finding of fault or liability, which isn’t the case in most settlements);
- Provide access to FAPIIS to all Members of Congress;
- Require periodic inspections by Inspectors General of how officials use the data;
- Require an annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on suspended or debarred contractors receiving new contracts;
- Integrate numerous contracting databases (which is in the works with some datasets); and
- Improve contractor identification systems.
POGO would still like to see FAPIIS made available to the public, but we support the efforts of Senators Feingold and Coburn.
Creating legislation, however, is only part of the battle. Getting it out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (and possibly the Armed Services Committees, if this is considered as an amendment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act), the House, and signed by the President is going to be an uphill battle, but a battle worth fighting. We need to ensure that genuine responsibility information on contractors is in the hands of government officials who are awarding hundreds of billions of dollars.
-- Scott Amey