Frequently Asked Questions
I can't find the location of the Federal debarred contractors list. Are procurement officers required to check the listing each time a contract is being awarded?
A grantee is required to ensure that no party listed on the Federal Government's Excluded Parties List is awarded a contract funded with Federal assistance. To ensure this does not happen, a grantee is required to check the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) prior to award. The EPLS is updated continuously so you must check on a real-time basis before awarding a contract. The EPLS Website is located at http://www.epls.gov. (Revised: July 29, 2009)
Are micro-purchases also subject to the requirement to search for the vendor on the Excluded Parties Listing System website prior to purchase?
Under the government-wide non-procurement debarment and suspension regulations, 2 CFR part 180, and under the DOT's non-procurement debarment and suspension regulations, 2 CFR part 1200, grantees may not make awards to suspended or debarred contractors when the value of the contract equals or exceeds $25,000. This dollar threshold is found in 2 CFR 180.220(b)(1) and 2 CFR 1200.220. However, in addition to the above-cited regulations, 49 U.S.C. § 5325(j) imposes a statutory requirement on FTA grantees to award contracts made with FTA assistance only to responsible contractors. The statute also mandates that before making award, a grantee must consider the integrity of the contractor. By definition, debarred or suspended vendors listed on the Excluded Party Listing System (EPLS) are not responsible contractors. Thus, regardless of the dollar value of a contract, the EPLS should be consulted to ensure that the vendor is not listed. (Revised: July 29, 2009)
Do you have a website link to take me the FTA's disbarment & suspensions list?
The website link to the Federal Government's Excluded Parties List System is: https://www.epls.gov (Posted: May, 2010)
FTA's Best Practices Procurement Manual indicates that Bidders should self-report if they are or have been debarred or suspended. Language in the Manual also states that grantees should check the list of debarred contractors to ensure they are not on the list. How do I obtain this list?
The list of debarred and suspended contractors may be found at: https://www.epls.gov Enter the contractor's information under the "Search" tab. (Posted: May, 2010)
Do I need to check the E P L S website when purchasing a bus for the transit department? If so, when do I need to check that website for suspension/debarment?
A grantee is required to ensure that no party listed on the Federal Government's Excluded Parties List is awarded a contract funded with Federal assistance. To ensure this does not happen, a grantee is required to check the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) prior to award. See FTA Circular 4220.1F, Chapter IV-5, Paragraph 2. a. (2) (b) -General Services Administration (GSA) Excluded Parties List System. The EPLS is updated continuously so you must check on a real-time basis before awarding a contract. The EPLS Website is located at http://www.epls.gov. (Posted: July, 2011)
At what point should the Excluded parties list be checked for the first time. I was taught that it should be checked at receipt of proposals and again prior to award? Where can I find this in the FAR?
The EPLS requirements are found in FAR Part 9.4 - "Debarment, Suspension and Ineligibility," and they do in fact require that the EPLS be reviewed when bids or proposals are received and again prior to award. FAR Subpart 9.405 requires the following:
(b) Contractors included in the EPLS as having been declared ineligible on the basis of statutory or other regulatory procedures are excluded from receiving contracts, and if applicable, subcontracts, under the conditions and for the period set forth in the statute or regulation. Agencies shall not solicit offers from, award contracts to, or consent to subcontracts with these contractors under those conditions and for that period....
(d)(1) After the opening of bids or receipt of proposals, the contracting officer shall review the EPLS. (2) Bids received from any listed contractor in response to an invitation for bids shall be entered on the abstract of bids, and rejected unless the agency head determines in writing that there is a compelling reason to consider the bid. (3) Proposals, quotations, or offers received from any listed contractor shall not be evaluated for award or included in the competitive range, nor shall discussions be conducted with a listed offeror during a period of ineligibility, unless the agency head determines, in writing, that there is a compelling reason to do so. If the period of ineligibility expires or is terminated prior to award, the contracting officer may, but is not required to, consider such proposals, quotations, or offers. (4) Immediately prior to award, the contracting officer shall again review the EPLS to ensure that no award is made to a listed contractor.
(Posted: July, 2011)
Can you tell us what agencies are doing now that EPLS redirects you to the SAM (System for Award Management). All of the vendors that we could potentially award contracts to do not have DUNNS numbers. Is anyone using other methods to check suspensions and debarment?
I've heard similar comments from several others. SAM does not seem to have any way to access and print out the debarment status of vendors the way EPLIS did. It appears that the feds took something that worked, and changed it to something much more complex that doesn't work.
We contacted the SAMS desk and expect to hear from them as to what is required for grantees wishing to determine the status of a third party contractor prior to award. We will advise you of their answer as soon as we have it. (Posted: February, 2013)