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Suspension and Debarment actions prevent companies and individuals from participating in government contracts, subcontracts, loans, grants and other assistance programs. Not only do you stand to lose a contract but you want to protect your rights during the proceedings. You may have possible Fifth Amendment rights that can be subject to violations.
Colorado and Washington DC suspension and debarment attorneys at Watson & Associates have substantial experience in helping large and small businesses in the United States and overseas to assess and respond to notices of suspension or debarment. We understand the legislative intent of the regulations although many may think that such intent is to punish government contractors.
Our debarment and suspension attorneys will assess the facts of your specific case and prepare a response in attempt to convince the decision board why you should not be suspended or debarred. In addition, our law firm will help you to prepare and implement agreements with the government in a way that will protect you from further scrutiny.
According to a recent GAO report, suspensions and debarments made up about 16 percent of exclusions in EPLS for fiscal years 2006 through 2010. These are discretionary exclusions taken by agencies based on causes specified in regulations for acquisitions or grants and assistance, including fraud, bribery, or a history of failure to perform on government contracts.
The remaining 84 percent were exclusions based on violations of statutes or other regulations, including health care fraud or illegal exports.
In these cases, agencies are generally required to suspend or debar the party from participating in specified government transactions or activities. More than half of the government- wide suspensions and debarments were based on acquisition regulations.
Learn the Four Dangers Facing Government Contractors and How Knowing What These Dangers Are, Can Dramatically Reduce Legal Costs and Protect Your Company’s Reputation.
Protect against improper agency Due Process Violations: Because contractors are dealing with the federal government, they are entitled to due process before being excluded from government contracts. The nature of the process due to them varies for debarments and suspensions. Therefore, agencies are generally prohibited from using means other than debarment or suspension proceedings to effectively exclude contractors.
You also want to assert any rights when an agency subpoenas certain documents. Failure to assert rights early could deem them waived. This why having a defense lawyer on your team can be beneficial. The effect of suspension and debarment by a Federal agency is government wide. (See 2 CFR Part 180 and 2 CFR Part 1532). We defense lawyers can help you:
Save the future of your company: Government contractors are sometimes alleged to have violated procurement regulations, engaged in criminal activity or even violated ethical rules. Suspension and debarment carry serious consequences that can cripple the future of your company. In some cases, executives can be facing jail time. If you have received a notice of suspension or debarment from a government contracting agency, you never want to attempt to handle the matter without a government contracts defense lawyer.
Prepare for increased agency oversight: The federal government is tasked to implement more oversight and utilize suspension and debarment tools. Contractors are now under more scrutiny. Therefore, agencies are pursuing any ‘red flags’ for fraud and other criminal activity. Let our government contracts law firm help you to protect your rights.
Avoid costly mistakes made by contractors in a debarment process: Just like any case in a traditional court, there are certain legal standards and burdens of proof that you, or the agency, must meet. Not seeing obvious legal mistakes in a debarment proceeding can have a grave impact on the outcome. How you respond or cooperate with agency investigation can make a lot of difference in the outcome.
Having an attorney that understands the suspension and debarment process will make the difference in your ability to conduct future business with the federal government.
What is Suspension? The FAR also allows agency officials to suspend government contractors (1) when the officials suspect, upon adequate evidence, any of the following offenses, or (2) when contractors are indicted for any of the following offenses:
Suspensions are temporary actions which may last up to one year and are effective immediately. Government contracting officials may also suspend a contractor when they suspect, upon adequate evidence, that there exists “any other cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects the present responsibility of a contractor or subcontractor.”
What is Debarment? The FAR allows agency officials to debar contractors from future executive branch contracts under three circumstances. First, debarment may be imposed when a contractor is convicted of or found civilly liable for any integrity offense. Integrity offenses include the following:
Debarment may be based on convictions, civil judgments or fact based cases involving environmental crimes, contract fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, poor performance, non-performance or false statements as well as other causes. See White House Video on Suspension, Fraud Waste or Abuse. Debarment results in the imposition of a set period of time decided on a case by case basis.
Statutory Debarment occurs by operation of law following criminal conviction under Clean Water Act (Section 508) and Clean Air Act (Section 306). It may also last until the Debarring Official certifies that "condition giving rise to conviction has been corrected."
Decades of experience in government contracting. As Washington DC government contract law attorneys we provide defense in suspension and debarment cases for federal contractors in Denver, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska, New York, Los Angeles California, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Denver, Colorado Springs, Utah, California, Oklahoma, Ohio, Maine, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Maryland, Louisiana, Las Vegas, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Washington, Mississippi, Tennessee, Tampa, Miami, Virgin Islands, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Arizona, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Montana.
Did You Know That:
The Defense Department has far and away the highest raw number of suspensions and debarments (1,616 over five years).
The government has proposed suspending or debarring 1,006 companies or individuals during 2011. That is almost as many suspensions / debarments as were proposed during the full four years of President Bush’s second term, and it represents a 10% increase from 2010.
There have been several bills to suspend or debar contractors who owe back taxes. President Barack Obama issued a memo in January 2010 requiring the IRS to review tax records of companies doing business with the government.
Watson & Associates, LLC Practices Exclusively In Federal Law in Washington, DC
Watson's Federal Government Contract Lawyers practice in: Denver, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska, New York, Los Angeles California, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Denver, Colorado Springs, Utah, California, Oklahoma, Ohio, Maine, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Maryland, Louisiana, Las Vegas, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska, West Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Washington, Mississippi, Tennessee, Tampa, Miami, Virgin Islands, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Arizona, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana and Government contracts attorneys Washington, DC.