Suspension and Debarment
Suspension, debarment or exclusion from government contracts or other transactions with the federal government can have devastating consequences to companies that rely on the federal government for business as a prime contractor, subcontractor or grantee. Being listed on the government's "Excluded Parties List" not only renders the company ineligible for federal government work, but can have collateral consequences such as ineligibility to obtain federal export licenses or debarment from state and local contracts. Companies can be suspended or debarred based on a criminal conviction or finding of civil fraud not directly related to the performance of a government contract, grant or transaction. In addition, a criminal violation of certain laws, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, require that a company be debarred.
The federal government has greatly increased its use of suspension and debarment. It is actively pursuing suspension or debarment of federal grantees, of companies that violate federal socio-economic laws and regulations, and even of companies that settle civil false claims allegations without an acknowledgement of wrongdoing. A contractor's or grantee's failure to disclose potential wrongdoing related to the award, performance or close-out of a federal transaction now has been added to the long and growing list of grounds for suspension or debarment
MLA's experience in suspension and debarment is extensive. The firm has represented numerous corporations, individuals and even local governments threatened with ineligibility from federal programs by most of the federal agencies. Our practice has involved every aspect of suspension and debarment: successfully opposing proposed listings, including in agency fact finding proceedings; development and implementation of compliance and ethics programs and the negotiation of administrative agreements to resolve potential listings; and court challenges opposing a suspension or debarment.
MLA attorneys have served as Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Debarment and Suspension Committee and the Co-Chair of the ABA Public Contract Law Section's Task Force on Mandatory Disclosure. We have testified as authorities in Congressional hearings related to suspension and debarment, have been asked by Congressional staffers to assist with suspension and debarment issues, and have addressed federal debarment and enforcement personnel at a government-only conference on suspension and debarment. We have worked diligently to maintain relationships with the various agency suspension authorities, and have an unmatched understanding of the substantive and procedural aspects of the practice at each agency.
The depth and breadth of MLA's suspension and debarment practice has led to the firm's numerous successes in helping clients - both corporations and individuals - avoid or resolve suspension, debarment or exclusion.