The Eastern District of New York has enjoined a New York contractor’s federal debarment, in a rebuke of agency debarment actions that fail to honor contractors’ procedural rights. On July 8, 2022, part supplier Precision Metals Corporation (“Precision”) was granted a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) vacating and setting aside a Defense Logistics Agency (“DLA”) debarment and enjoining debarment while court proceedings are pending. The decision, which emphasizes two procedural violations, serves as a reminder that an agency’s authority to debar contractors is not unlimited, and that it must strictly adhere to the rights granted contractors before taking action. Each procedural violation, and its practical implications, is discussed below.
On April 18, 2022, the government released its annual report on federal suspension and debarment activities for FY 2020. The report is published by the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (“ISDC”) to fulfill its obligation annually to update Congress on the status of the government’s suspension and debarment program across all executive agencies. While the facts and figures are somewhat dated, the FY 2020 Report nevertheless provides useful insights into federal suspension debarment trends that are relevant to the government contracting community. Below we highlight the three biggest takeaways from this year’s ISDC report.
Continue Reading Federal Debarments and Suspensions Hit Ten Year Low, According to FY 2020 Report
On February 1, 2022, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released its annual report summarizing False Claims Act (“FCA”) enforcement activity in FY 2021. The report confirmed what many practitioners already suspected: FY 2021 was another banner year in FCA enforcement. DOJ’s annual judgments and settlements exceeded $5.6 billion, making FY 2021 the second largest annual recovery ever (and the largest since 2014). But beyond this top line number, a closer analysis of the figures in DOJ’s report offers additional insight on strategies for preventing and mitigating costly FCA exposure.
Continue Reading DOJ Records Historic False Claims Act Recoveries in FY 2021
Just over a year after launching the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (“PCSF”), the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) announced new measures to further its pursuit of antitrust and related crimes in government procurement, grant, and program funding. These changes expand the PCSF’s enforcement capacity and signal DOJ’s enduring—and intensifying—commitment to the PCSF’s mission.
The PCSF has added 11 new national partners: the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and nine new U.S. Attorneys. As a result, the growing PCSF coalition now includes 29 agencies and offices, including U.S. Attorneys in 22 federal judicial districts; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Offices of Inspectors General at six federal agencies. The PCSF also named the Antitrust Division’s Daniel Glad as the Strike Force’s first permanent director, solidifying the PCSF’s institutional role at DOJ. Glad previously served as an Assistant Chief at the Antitrust Division’s Chicago Office.
Continue Reading Expansion of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force
On February 18, 2020, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”) Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington announced that special agents from WMATA would be partnering with the Department of Justice’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force (“PCSF”) to prevent and detect fraud affecting WMATA. The announcement portends a growing partnership amongst federal, state, and local entities in the procurement fraud space that could reverberate well beyond the Washington metro area.
Continue Reading A Coalition Grows: What WMATA’s Partnership with the Procurement Collusion Strike Force Means for Government Contractors