2. Procurement Rules and Practices

Vendor accountability

The government should be less reluctant to bar vendors with poor federal contract past performance from participating in federal business opportunities, or should otherwise provide a centralized resource for reporting and reviewing past performance on federal contracts. The bar for being placed on EPLS is alarmingly high. While it makes sense that the government would be cautious and judicious in adding a registered contractor to EPLS, the infrequency of disbarring vendor who repeatedly underperform exposes the end user to unnecessary and unacceptable risk. One challenge here may be the Federal Government’s inability to detect and react to relatively low-profile default trends (for example, a failure of a vendor to perform on a dozen simplified acquisition contracts during a single fiscal year). On this point, an informational platform that provides past performance information and monitors trends could be of assistance. It seems that the average buyer is left without sufficient information to evaluate offers from unknown vendors, thus increasing the risk that a war-fighter or other end user won’t get mission critical items. Such informational asymmetry enables fraudsters to take advantage of unwitting government officials and provides assurance that they will ever be held accountable for their actions.



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Idea No. 125