How Much Discretion in Punishing Contractors Should Agencies Have?

November 16, 2011

Dan Gordon, the outgoing administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, told senators Nov. 16 that mandatory suspensions and debarments of contractors actually undermine the judgment of the agency official who is charged to make those decisions.

"It seems to undercut the role of the suspension and debarment official to say we're taking away your discretion," Gordon told Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) during a hearing held by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

With mandatory suspensions or debarments, "we're deciding no matter what you've done to correct the problem, no matter what remedial measures you've taken, you're going to automatically suspend or debar," he added. 

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