Suspension, Debarment Getting Agencies' Attention, Official Says

October 17, 2011

Agencies are warming up to the idea of punishing contractors for misbehavior, according to a recent letter from the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee. But around the same time the committee released the letter, the Government Accountability Office issued a report documenting flaws in the suspension and debarment process.

The interagency committee said more agencies are establishing formal suspension and debarment programs and dedicating more staff to handle referrals and manage cases. Officials are also toughening policies over fraud and training staff to act decisively, according to a letter sent in June to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The letter was recently posted online. 

“Progress is apparent,” David Sims, acting chairman of the suspension and debarment committee, wrote in the letter. Dan Blalock, U.S. Navy counsel, is currently committee chairman.

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