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Suspension and Debarment

Purpose

The debarment and suspension procedures are intended to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in Federal procurement and non-procurement actions.  Debarment or suspension of an organization or individual excludes that company or individual from doing business with the Federal Government.  These exclusions are intended to ensure that only responsible companies or individuals participate in contracts and financial assistance awards with the Federal government.  The Nonprocurement Suspension and Debarment Regulation (Nonprocurement Regulation), at 2 CFR Part 180, provides rules for a Department wide system of debarment and suspension under nonprocurement transactions.  The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), at 48 C.F.R. subpart 9.4, Debarment, Suspension, and Ineligibility, provides rules for procurement actions.  Both the Nonprocurement Regulation and the FAR provide for reciprocity between procurement and nonprocurement actions, meaning that any action under one regulation will allow the exclusion by suspension or debarment to extend to government wide transactions covered by the other regulation. The General Services Administration (GSA) maintains the list of companies and individuals that are debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded from doing business with the government in a publicly available website at www.SAM.gov.  Examples of conduct resulting in a suspension or debarment by the United States Department of Transportation can include fraud under the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, falsification of documents relating to contract payments, falsification of credentials, or any other failure to follow the regulations and contract or financial assistance requirements.

SUSPENSION

A suspension excludes a company or individual from participating in Federal contracting and financial assistance awards government wide on any new contracts or financial assistance awards dated on or after the date of the suspension.  A suspension is effective immediately.  A suspension is a temporary exclusion action which lasts until the conclusion of the criminal or administrative proceedings upon which the action is based, or for 12 months or 18 months if the prosecuting official justifies an extension in writing.

A suspension may be based on an indictment, information, or the agency’s independent, adequate evidence that a company or individual committed fraudulent conduct (e.g. public contracts and financial assistance, such as contract & financial assistance fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, poor performance, non-performance, or false statements).

DEBARMENT

A debarment results in an exclusion from Federal contracting and financial assistance government wide for a set period of time, usually three years that is effective on the date the debarment decision is finalized.  If circumstances warrant, the debarring official may impose a longer period of debarment.  The length of the debarment exclusion is decided based on the circumstances and factors relevant to each party, and the length will begin counting at the date of any initial suspension exclusion.

A debarment may be based on convictions, civil judgments or the agency’s independent evidence proving by a preponderance of the evidence that a company or individual were involved in fraudulent conduct on public contracts, such as, contract and financial assistance fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, poor performance, non-performance or false statements as well as other causes.

Affiliations and Imputations

Suspension and debarment exclusions from Federal contracts and financial assistance awards can include subsidiaries, parent companies & other individuals, who may be suspended or debarred through determinations of affiliation with excluded contractors or individuals and by imputation of fraudulent conduct from one excluded company or individual to another company or individual.  All individuals and entities excluded from receiving government grants and contracts are listed on the GSA’s System for Award Management available online at www.SAM.gov.

Other Sources

Regulations & Guidance

Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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