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.