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.

Continue Reading Department of Defense Debarment Enjoined Due to Procedural Missteps

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

Keen observers of federal suspension and debarment practice have noticed a recent change at the Department of Labor (DOL):  After years of inactivity, DOL’s discretionary suspension and debarment program suddenly came to life in 2017 and has been issuing suspensions and debarments at a steady clip ever since. [1]  Now, according to a recent announcement, DOL is poised to turn up its suspension and debarment activity yet another notch.  Starting this month and continuing through April 2020, DOL will be instituting a pilot program aimed at promoting and expediting its suspension and debarment activity, with the stated goal of “reduc[ing] the processing time on discretionary suspension and debarment actions from months to days.” 
Continue Reading Suspension & Debarment Update: Department of Labor Announces New Pilot Program

Each year, the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (ISDC) reports to Congress on the status of the Federal suspension and debarment system.  With its mission of assisting agencies to build and maintain efficient and effective suspension and debarment activities, the ISDC is uniquely situated to provide comments and insight on the status of suspension and debarment practices generally. 
Continue Reading ISDC Reports a “Plateauing” in Suspension and Debarment Activity

On March 28, 2015, the Department of State (“State”) issued a proposed rule to update various procedural aspects of the agency’s suspension and debarment actions.  The proposed rule appears intended to streamline the suspension and debarment process and reinforce the independence of the agency’s suspension and debarment official (“SDO”).  Yet despite these laudable aims, the proposed rule raises substantial questions about the scope and implementation of the contemplated changes.

The proposed rule would amend the debarment-related portion of the Department of State Acquisition Regulation (“DOSAR”), State’s agency-specific procurement regulations.  While many of the proposed changes are technical or administrative in nature, two are worthy of particular mention.

Continue Reading A Job Half-Done? Questions Remain Following State Department’s Announcement of New Debarment Procedures