Efforts to increase transparency in federal contracting are well underway. But it’s still not clear exactly how much contractor information will be made public under the new rules, or how they will be interpreted in light of existing laws. We know that FAPIIS is now online and accessible to the public, for example, but that only the government will have access to contractor past performance reports. GSA published a notice saying that executive compensation reported under FAR 52.204-10 [pdf] and proceedings information reported under under FAR 52.209-9 [pdf] may be exempt under FOIA Exemption 4 even though it will presumably be in FAPIIS. It’s not just these types of conflicts that are creating uncertainty. Proposals are in the works to require contractors and trade associations to disclose their campaign spending. There is even a pending proposal that would involve posting all federal contract documents on the internet.
I’ll be discussing the practical aspects of these issues in a June 8, 2011 webinar. The discussion will include the ins and outs of the new transparency requirements that are already in effect, including the executive compensation reporting rules, the requirement to report findings of liability in criminal, administrative, and civil proceedings, as well as some of the new transparency rules that have been proposed. I will also discuss the protections available for contractors in the Freedom of Information Act and the Trade Secrets Act.
Registration information is available here.