Apr 15

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Get the benefit of the government’s experience when selecting vendors.

There are many often repeated tales of the federal government being taken advantage of by vendors, such as the Department of Defense’s $640 toilet seat and the National Park Service’s $797,400 outhouse.  Therefore, it’s a pretty good bet that if a vendor you are considering is on the federal government’s vendor blacklist, they might deserve some greater scrutiny before you employ them. 

Luckily, you don’t need to rely upon WikiLeaks to get this info.  Anyone can use the federal Excluded Parties List System for free at www.epls.gov.  The site is provided as a public service by the General Services Administration (GSA) with the intent to make this information efficiently and conveniently available:

“The Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) includes information regarding entities debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, excluded or disqualified under the nonprocurement common rule, or otherwise declared ineligible from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and benefits. This information may include names, addresses, DUNS numbers, Social Security Numbers, Employer Identification Numbers or other Taxpayer Identification Numbers, if available and deemed appropriate and permissible to publish by the agency taking the action.”

Utilizing this searchable internet database may lower your organization’s risk of procurement fraud , which includes bid rigging, bribery, embezzlement, false claims, money laundering, price inflation and incorrect billings.  It is also a useful tool for auditors investigating possible instances of fraud.

About the author

Renee Howdeshell

Renee Howdeshell is a founding member of Fulcrum Inquiry, an accounting, finance and economic consulting firm that performs damage analyses for commercial litigation, forensic accountings, royalty & distribution audits, financial investigations, and business valuations. Ms. Howdeshell holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has testified as an expert witness in federal court, CA state court and arbitration regarding the results of her work. She can be reached at (213) 787-4112 and her resume is available at www.fulcrum.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/get-the-benefit-of-the-government%e2%80%99s-experience-when-selecting-vendors/


  1. Samuel

    Book-marked, I enjoy your blog! 🙂

  2. digieffects delirium

    Now and then I’ll stumble across a post like this and I’ll recall that there really are still interesting pages on the web.

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