The folks who draw up the Federal Acquisition Regulation have issued their proposal to enact a section of the 2009 Defense authorization meant to ensure a contractorâ€™s poor past performance is not overlooked during the contract award process.
The proposed rule published in todayâ€™s Federal Register creates a new database called the “Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System,” or FAPIIS for short. Contracting officers will be required to use this centralized database when making contract and task order awards.
The timing of the proposal couldn’t be better. Last month, acquisition officials answered some tough questions from Congress about how they use — or don’t use — past performance information. The hearings were prompted by two damning Government Accountability Office reports.
In April, GAO reported contracting officials didn’t use the Past Performance Information Retrieval System because its information was outdated, incomplete and unreliable. A May GAO report found contracting officers didn’t tie performance to the award fees paid to contractors for good work.
The proposed FAPIIS database aims to address some of the issues regarding past performance information by tying together information from two existing databases â€” the Excluded Parties List System and Past Performance Information Retrieval System â€” and creatingÂ new reporting requirements for government officials and contractors.
Under the proposed rule:
- Contracting officers will have to report any contract termination for default and any â€œdetermination of non-responsibility.â€ A determination of non-responsibility means the contractor isnâ€™t a responsible vendor because of poor past performance, a lack of integrity or a lack of business ethics.
- Suspension and debarment officials will have to submit any administrative agreement reached with a contractor to avoid suspension or debarment from government contracting.
- Contractors with contracts and grants totaling more than $10 million will also have to report on any administrative proceedings against them, in addition to civil and criminal proceedings.
The council will accept comments on the proposed rule until Oct. 5.