Group updates federal contractor misconduct database

The top 100 federal contractors have accumulated 673 cases of admitted or alleged misconduct and paid $26 billion in penalties related to those cases since 1995, according to a government watchdog group.

Those 100 companies received $257 billion in federal contracts in fiscal 2007, which is 14 percent more than the previous year and more than half the $457 billion in total federal contracts awarded that year, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) said in a news release today.

POGO released an updated version of its Federal Contractor Misconduct Database  with fiscal 2007 data. The electronic chart published online lists violations of civil, criminal and administrative laws or regulations, as well as allegations of such violations, from 1995 to the present.

The POGO database is controversial among contractors because it includes instances in which violations were alleged and settlement terms are agreed upon without an admission of wrongdoing. POGO officials say that information ought to be included and made public to show whether a contractor has a pattern of settling allegations of violations.

The database now includes information on 130 federal contractors and almost 900 resolved and pending misconduct instances, POGO said. Twenty-eight of the largest 100 federal contractors have had no alleged instances of misconduct.

Congress established a contractor responsibility database in 2008 in a defense authorization law. The federal database is to include information on the integrity and performance of people awarded federal contracts and grants. However, the federal data is not available to the public online.

“Last year, POGO was pleased when the government established a contractor misconduct database, but we are disappointed that it remains inaccessible to the public,” POGO investigator Neil Gordon said.

 

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Fri, Apr 24, 2009 Rob Scottsdale, AZ

The Federal Contractor Misconduct Database is currently inaccessible, but were you able to access it, you would notice that some of the "misconduct" alleged by POGO is actually nothing more than a straight contract dispute or personal injury claim against the company, which does not necessarily amount to "misconduct." Things happen, and if the company is proved liable, and the damages are ascertainable and not inflated, then the fact that they disputed the matter in court or before a tribunal should not count as "misconduct." I think POGO has puffed the claims on some of the contractors. I contacted them about my concerns via their website on 4/22/09, but they have not responded as of 4/24/09.

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