Regulators propose database on contractors' past work

The proposed rule would require contracting officers to review past performance information

Federal officials plan to launch a new database with histories of contractors’ past work for the government, according to a Federal Register notice posted today.

The database, named the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), would contain specific information on companies' and grantees' past work with the government and how well they performed. The proposed rule would also require contracting officers to review the data and consider the past performance information when evaluating a company's bid on a contract, according to the proposed amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Determining whether a contractor is responsible involves reviewing whether a company has historically completed projects as expected and not wasted the government's money.

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council have proposed the rule based on a provision in the fiscal 2009 National Defense Authorization Act. The comment period lasts until Oct. 5.

The proposed amendment would require that for each solicitation of more than $500,000, companies submitting bids must report whether they are currently performing contracts and grants worth at least $10 million. More information for the new database would be required only if the company reaches that mark, the notice states. Regulators say they expect roughly 5,000 contractors will have to enter data into the Web site.

Meanwhile, the government has two other databases with similar information. The Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) is the current single, governmentwide repository for contractor performance data. Like the PPIRS, agencies also have the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System, which includes past performance information from agencies. However, not all agencies use it.

Then there’s the Excluded Parties List System with information on companies that are currently suspended or debarred from working with the government. In general, though, suspensions or debarments last for a maximum of three years while the defense authorization law requires information for the past five years.

President Barack Obama told agencies March 4 to hunt down wasteful spending and useless contracts. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued a memo in July, saying closer tabs on contractors’ past work will help agencies find those inefficiencies.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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