FAR Amended to Implement New, Enhanced Contractor Evaluation System

On April 22, 2010, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”) will implement a new, enhanced system for performing contractor evaluations: the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (“FAPIIS”). Contracting officers will be required to utilize FAPIIS in making a responsibility determination for all contracts in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, currently $100,000. The purpose of FAPIIS is to improve contracting officers’ ability to evaluate the integrity and performance of prospective contractors by creating a centralized evaluation system and expanding the scope of information available within this system. In addition to providing a centralized location for the Excluded Parties List System (“EPLS”) and Past Performance Information Retrieval System (“PPIRS”), FAPIIS will include the following: (i) contracting officers’ non-responsibility determinations; (ii) documentation of contract terminations for default or cause; (iii) evidence of defective pricing determinations; (iv) administrative agreements entered into by suspension and debarment officials to resolve a suspension or debarment; and, finally, (v) contractor self-reporting of criminal convictions, civil liability, and adverse administrative actions. While the FAR Council intended to include information in connection with the award or performance of a contract or grant with a State government, such information will not currently be part of the FAPIIS. Following the implementation of FAPIIS on April 22, contracting officers will be required to utilize FAPIIS in making a responsibility determination regarding prospective contractors for all contracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold. The contracting officer must then document the contract file with an explanation of how the information from FAPIIS impacted the responsibility determination. Contractors will receive a notification when information pertaining to their business is posted to FAPIIS and will be permitted to post comments responding to the information. The contractor’s comments will be retained for as long as the associated information posted by the government is retained (for a maximum of six years) and will remain part of the record unless revised by the contractor. Upon the implementation of FAPIIS, it will be increasingly important for contractors to vigilantly monitor the system for information posted about their businesses and to respond promptly when inaccurate or incomplete information is posted. At the same time, contractors should not let the launch of FAPIIS induce them to forego past practices in monitoring government evaluations of their businesses, because, pursuant to FAR 9.105-1, government contracting officials remain obligated to look outside of the information stored in FAPIIS when making responsibility determinations for prospective contractors. The final rule implementing FAPIIS is available on-line at the following address:https://ecklanddev.wpengine.com/wp-contentedocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-6329.pdf. If you have question about FAPIIS or would like assistance responding to information posted about your business, please contact Mark Blando at [email protected] or [nap_phone id=”LOCAL-REGULAR-NUMBER-2″].