Here's an update to our previous posting on the Government's intentions to make information posted to the FAPIIS (Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity System) publicly available.
FAPIIS is an information system that collects contractors' past performance reviews, suspensions, debarments, non-responsibility determinations, and civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings relating to a contractor's performance of federal, state, and local contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements. Contracting officers must review the information in FAPIIS when making their responsibility determinations. To support this purpose, initially the information in FAPIIS was only available to the contractor, government personnel, and authorized users performing business on behalf of the government.
Last January, the FAR councils rolled out a proposal to make any data posted to FAPIIS after April 15, 2011, publicly available. The 60 day comment period ended on March 25th and public comments have now been posted to Regulations.gov. There were about a dozen responses to the proposal. A couple respondents thought the whole thing was a bad idea and wanted the proposal dropped. Those comments are not going anywhere because giving the public access to the FAPIIS database is statutorily required. The comments that resonated most with us had to do with the giving contractors the ability to review any data prior to public posting in order to ensure that company proprietary data and information is not being improperly disclosed. Propriety data is not supposed to be disclosed anyway but deciding what data is proprietary and what data is releasable requires judgment and a contractors judgment may differ from a Government employee's judgment.
One commenter proposed that all data be made public, not just information posted to the database after April 15th.
Contractors can see what information FAPIIS currently contains about themselves by filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Request) with GSA (General Services Administration).