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FAPIIS Finally Gets a Hill Hearing

Tomorrow, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight will hold a hearing on the oversight of contractor performance information. The hearing will examine how the federal government collects, manages, and uses information about contractor performance and integrity. Specifically, the hearing will review how the government’s primary contractor and grantee responsibility database—the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)—has fared in its first four years.

The Subcommittee will hear testimony from a panel of government officials: Captain Brian Drapp, Commanding Officer of the Naval Sea Logistics Center; Kevin Youel Page, Assistant Commissioner at the General Services Administration; and Beth Colbert, Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget.

The Project On Government Oversight is excited about this hearing. The FAPIIS database went live in April 2010 and became publicly available a year later. However, it has never been scrutinized by an Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, or a congressional oversight committee.

POGO was instrumental in the creation of FAPIIS, which was modeled on our Federal Contractor Misconduct Database. Our work with Congress—particularly Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), and Henry Waxman (D-CA), and Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—led to the passage of FAPIIS in October 2008 and its public accessibility three years later.

As readers of this blog might remember, our early impressions of FAPIIS were a mixture of disappointment at its limitations and optimism that it would improve over time. Today, the database still suffers from two basic flaws—a lack of data and an awkward interface. There is a long way to go before FAPIIS truly becomes the “one-stop resource” for contractor performance and integrity information as promised in the final rule implementing FAPIIS.

POGO will live-tweet the hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. We will also blog our thoughts afterward, so stay tuned.