Do You Know the Next Steps for Your Suspension and Debarment Appeals?
As a government contractor, you must be aware that the Board of Contracts Appeal does not have jurisdiction to review suspension and debarment appeals decisions. See Inter-Continental Equipment, Inc., ASBCA No. 38444, 90-1 BCA122,501 at 112,956 (holding the Board lacks authority to order overview actions which do not affect a contract that has already come into existence between the Government and a contractor).
When the agency notifies you that your company is recommended for suspension or debarment, your next step is critical. finding out what time limitations you have to respond, whether you have rights to a hearing can be very critical to how your proceed.
The appeals process can be time-consuming. However, saving your company’s future reputation may be worth the effort.
Not All Courts Can Hear Suspension and Debarment Appeals Under 45 CFR 1641.24
Please be aware that under the CDA, the Board of Contract Appeals only “has jurisdiction to decide any appeal from a decision of a contracting officer of the Department of Defense…relative to a contract made by that department or agency.” See 45 CFR 1641.24 and 41 USC 7105(e)(l)(A).
Therefore, you must not file an appeal from someone that is not the contracting officer or your case will be dismissed. When you find that someone is making an adverse decision in a government contracting agency, ensure that it is the contracting officer.
In other words, suspension and debarment appeals are not contracting officer final decisions. If you appeal your case to the wrong court it will be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 45 CFR 1641.24 – Appeal and reconsideration of debarring official decisions.
Causes for Debarment
The debarring official may debar-
(a) A contractor for a conviction of or civil judgment for-
(1) Commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with-
(ii) Attempting to obtain; or
(iii) Performing a public contract or subcontract.
(2) Violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes relating to the submission of offers;
(3) Commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax evasion, violating Federal criminal tax laws, or receiving stolen property;
(4) Intentionally affixing a label bearing a “Made in America” inscription (or any inscription having the same meaning) to a product sold in or shipped to the United States or its outlying areas, when the product was not made in the United States or its outlying areas (see Section 202 of the Defense Production Act (Public Law 102-558)); or
(5) Commission of any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty that seriously and directly affects the present responsibility of a Government contractor or subcontractor.
Find out more about the Debarment Policy for Government Contractors.
Take The Next Step
Call our Washington DC suspension and debarment lawyers for immediate help.
If you are trying to challenge a suspension or debarment action by filing a suspension and debarment appeal, call the government contract law attorneys at Watson & Associates at 1-866-601-5518 for a free initial consultation.