A recent final rule in the Federal Register (FAR Case 2010-016) regarding Public Access to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information could have a significant impact on federal contractors.
The final rule implements section 3010 of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-212), enacted July 29, 2010. The legislation requires that information in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) to be made publicly available. However past performance reviews are excluded from public release.
Contractors have the right to review the information before it becomes public by convincing the Government that the information qualifies as exempt from FOIA disclosure. As the government strives for more transparency and accountability, the purpose of FAPIIS is to provide a one-stop shop for contracting officers to review information about contractors' business ethics, integrity, and performance. Information such as a Contracting Officer's final determinations will be posted on FAPIIS including but not limited to: Default; Defective cost or pricing data, Being listed in the Excluded Parties Listing System, and Non-responsibility determinations.
Contractors will receive notification when new information is posted to the Contractor’s record. Contractors have 7 calendar days to provide written assertion that the FOIA disclosure exemption applies. Government officials have 7 calendar days to resolve the issue in accordance with agency FOIA procedures.
The burden will be on contractors to continuously monitor FAPIIS to determine if pending information releases could potentially harm them (e.g. release of proprietary and confidential information).