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Project on Government Oversight




New Law Paves the Way for Public Review of Contractor Data

August 4, 2010 


On July 29, 2010, President Obama signed into law a major advance in contractor accountability and transparency that quietly made its way through Congress shepherded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010 contains a provision that requires contractor responsibility data included in the government's new database, the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), to be posted publicly on the Internet.

This will open up an immense cache of valuable data regarding contract- and grant-related civil, criminal, and administrative responsibility histories of thousands of contractors and grantees that collectively receive hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars every year. POGO and 14 other organizations called on Congress to pass this provision in June.

The new law amends the Clean Contracting Act of 2008 (Subtitle G of Public Law 110–417—Oct. 14, 2008) by adding a requirement for the General Services Administration (GSA) to post all FAPIIS information, excluding past performance reviews, on a publicly available website.

"POGO is incredibly pleased to see the government finally heed our call for the public availability of the contractor responsibility data. There was never any valid reason to keep this database from the public in the first place," stated Scott Amey, POGO's general counsel.  "We urge the GSA to waste no time in implementing the law."

The FAPIIS database was modeled on POGO's Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.

The timing of this law is fortunate, given that just last week, POGO's Freedom of Information Act request for the data included in FAPIIS was denied by the DoD.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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