Blog Post

My Company Just Got a Notice of Proposed Debarment. Now What?

Government Contracts Navigator

Receiving a Notice of Proposed Debarment from a federal agency Suspending and Debarring Official (“SDO”) is an alarming moment for any government contractor. It means the government believes there is a basis to question whether the entity is “presently responsible.” Debarment is sometimes referred to colloquially as the “death penalty” for government contractors because of its many, potentially devastating effects. A debarred entity is ineligible to receive new government contracts from any executive agency, not just the agency that imposes the debarment. Additionally, any existing federal contracts cannot be augmented or extended and may even be terminated.

Debarment can also seriously disrupt numerous areas of an entity’s business, including prime-sub relationships, teaming arrangements, and the normal function of the supply chain, because companies involved in government contracts ordinarily avoid partnering with debarred entities, and even entities proposed for debarment. Moreover, there are significant reputational impacts associated with debarment and these can affect everything from workplace morale to customer goodwill and even commercial relationships. And finally, debarment casts a long shadow, because even after the debarment ends, an entity will almost certainly be required to disclose the prior debarment as it pursues future government work.

For these reasons, it is critical to respond effectively to a Notice of Proposed Debarment. This blog post offers suggestions to federal contractors who have been proposed for debarment and are wondering what to do next.

To read the full post, please visit our Government Contracts Navigator blog.