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Policy Letter

Bipartisan Coalition Urges Congress to Preserve Provision to Make FAPIIS Public

Chairman Daniel Inouye

Senate Committee on Appropriations

Ranking Member Thad Cochran

Senate Committee on Appropriations

Chairman David Obey

House Committee on Appropriations

Ranking Member Jerry Lewis

House Committee on Appropriations

Dear Conference Leadership:

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our support for S. Amendment 4280 in the Senate-passed version of H.R. 4899, the Supplemental Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act of 2010. Our groups have a keen interest in government spending and transparency matters, especially matters pertaining to public access to the government’s new contractor integrity and performance database, the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS).

Ever since the concept of a comprehensive, centralized, government-wide contractor responsibility database was introduced in Congress in 2008, our groups have been campaigning for such a database to be made publicly available. Although we have various views on other parts of H.R. 4899, we were all pleased when the Senate approved Senator Bernie Sanders’ amendment (S. Amendment 4280) to the bill requiring the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) to make publicly available all data contained in FAPIIS, except “past performance reviews.”

While we think all FAPIIS data, including past performance information not directly implicating genuine proprietary or privacy interests, should be publicly posted, we wholeheartedly support this amendment as a major advance in contractor accountability and transparency. Its passage would 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.

Additionally, all Members of Congress would have access to the data, which is essential since congressional access is currently limited “to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the committees of Congress having jurisdiction.”

We appreciate your time and consideration, and urge you to support S. Amendment 4280, thereby making FAPIIS publicly available. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this issue further, please contact us.

Sincerely,

Project On Government Oversight

Danielle Brian

Executive Director

Taxpayers for Common Sense

Ryan Alexander

President

OMB Watch

Craig Jennings

Director, Federal Fiscal Policy

Essential Information

John Richard

President

iSolon.org

J.H. Snider, MBA, Ph.D.

President

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Gary Kalman

Director, Federal Legislative Office

Center for American Progress Action Fund

David Madland

Director, American Worker Project

Project on Government Secrecy,

Federation of American Scientists

Steven Aftergood

Project Director

OpenTheGovernment.org

Patrice McDermott

Director

American Association of Law Libraries

Mary Alice Baish

Director of Government Relations

The Sunlight Foundation

Ellen Miller

Executive Director

Public Citizen

Tyson Slocum

Director, Energy Program

Government Accountability Project

Mark P. Cohen, Esq.

Executive Director

National Taxpayers Union

Pete Sepp

Executive Vice President

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Melanie Sloan

Executive Director