This blog post was co-authored by Jay Carey.
This morning, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) issued a Notice of Request for Comment in the Federal Register regarding “whether changes to current regulations and other guidance might improve contracting officers’ access to relevant information about contractor business ethics in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS).” (At the time we published this post, the Notice of Request for Comment included an invalid hyperlink to the full version of the notice. Here is a copy of the full version)
Established as part of the NDAA for FY 2009, FAPIIS is a system that facilitates that Government’s evaluation of prospective contractors’ business ethics to determine if contractors are responsible. This Request for Comment indicates, in part, that anonymous “interested stakeholders” recommend that FAPIIS include additional information about contractors and their affiliates and subsidiaries. In fact, one of the questions in the full notice indicated that OFPP is interested in determining whether FAPIIS should “[c]apture integrity information about an entire entity (e.g., headquarters, all affiliates and subsidiaries, etc.).” (Emphasis added). Another question asks whether the FAR should define the term “corporate entity,” which could also extend the reach of the information in FAPIIS.
Industry should keep a close tab on these potential changes to FAPIIS, which could significantly expand the amount of contractor information included in this database. The government’s stated purpose in considering whether to collect such information is to use it in making responsibility determinations, and the additional information most likely would be made available to the public. While past performance information is not made public, other FAPIIS information generally is made public unless a contractor successfully argues that it is subject to a FOIA exemption. 77 FR 197 (Jan. 3, 2012), 77 FR 1640 (Jan. 11, 2012) and 76 FR 4188 (Jan. 24, 2011). Check out our client advisory about these existing aspects of FAPIIS for more details.
Comments must be submitted on or before September 17, 2012.