Suspension & Debarment Lawyers

Winning debarment cases involves attention to detail and experienced lawyers with inside the government experience. Our partners include former prosecutors and lawyers from the Department of Defense (DoD), National Security Agency (NSA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and US military (Army, Navy, and Marines).
If you have received one of the following – call or email us now and we can talk you through the next steps:
Show cause notice
Notice of proposed debarment
Notice of suspension
Request for information

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FAQ – Frequently Answered Questions About Suspensions & Debarments
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Read our most recent article: Will Debarment Officials Weigh the “Public Interest” Consideration During the Covid-19 Pandemic in the Context of Debarment Actions Given the Vital Government Benefits at Stake?

Any of these notices trigger a Federal employee’s or contractor’s right to respond, have counsel, be informed of the basis for the debarment, and have a hearing on the debarment. There are strict timelines to respond. Typically you have no more than 30 days from the receipt of the notice to respond to the government’s notice of debarment.

The government can suspend or debar a company, individual employee, or a corporate officer from doing business with the federal government. We understand the drastic consequences of a suspension or debarment. The contractor may challenge the government’s decision to debar or suspend it from the future federal contractors.

Our debarment attorneys work one-on-one with clients to mitigate the risk or win outright and resolve a proposed suspension and debarment. We firmly believe legal services are best used as a preventative measure, rather than as a defensive measure. Contact:

Ellis Bennett: 703-777-7319

Learn More About Suspension & Debarment

What is a debarment? Suspension and debarment are tools used by the government to protect itself from the risks of doing business with contractors it determines lack “present responsibility.” In analyzing whether a federal contractor lacks present responsibility, the procuring agency’s suspension and debarment officials will analyze the contractor’s honesty, integrity, ethics, responsibility, and competence, among other things. Contractors debarred, suspended or proposed for debarment are excluded from competing for or receiving contracts and grants.  Given the widespread business impact that accompanies a suspension or debarment, government contractors should consult experienced legal counsel to avoid a proposed suspension, debarment, or proposed debarment immediately upon receiving notice of such a threatened action.

What is suspension versus debarment? How do they differ? They are both actions taken by a government official that exclude or disqualify a person or company from bidding on, receiving, or participating in Federally funded contracts or grants all Federal programs and procurement.  they differ in that a suspension is usually a temporary measure taken during an investigation, whereas a debarment can disqualify a person or company for up to three years.

What is the process for debarment? The debarring official decides whether a contractor should be debarred. The debarring official must base his decision on the “administrative record.” Typically, the administrative record starts with documentation and findings gathered by agency investigators. The contractor has the right to supplement the administrative record with documentation helpful to its case, as well as filing a written response to the proposed debarment. The contractor is also entitled to meet with the debarring official.

How much time do I have to respond to a debarment?  Typically a debarment notice provides a 30-day response window.  If you do not respond in that time, expect that you or your company will be debarred.

What leads to debarment? A debarment can be based on either a civil judgment or criminal convictions for things that include fraud, antitrust violations, forgery, bribery, falsification of records, making false statements, making false claims, conspiracy, failure to comply with applicable environmental requirements, failure to pay the minimum wage, and other offenses showing a lack of business integrity or honesty affecting a person’s or company’s present responsibility. Very frequently, in addition to a civil judgment or criminal conviction, debarments are also initiated when an agency can prove some other serious cause that affects a person’s or company’s present responsibility has occurred, such as a breach of clearance, or conflict of interest transactions.

How can I tell if I have been debarred already? Click here to access System for Award Management (SAM) to check your debarment status now

Read more on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Suspension & Debarment page. 

Recent (2020/ 2021) Debarment Case Highlights

  • Successfully defended Department of Defense (DOD) debarment on behalf of a government contractor charged with manufacturing defective materials. As a result of the dismissal of the debarment, our client was able to continue operations under the terms of an existing DoD contract.
  • Successfully defended an individual debarment action against the Department of Navy.  The Department of the Navy debarment action accused a subcontractor of overcharging time to the government. As a result, this individual was able to continue his employment.
  • Successfully defended Department of Navy subcontractor on a charge by the contracting officer of misallocation of hours to various Federal contracts.  The debarment was dismissed and no further action was taken upon consideration of the response submission allowing this individual to maintain her employment.
  • Successfully defended Department of Defense contractor accused of a business conflict of interest and utilization of confidential information to gain an unfair advantage in Federal contracting. Upon consideration of the debarment defense submission, the debarment proceedings were discontinued allowing the company to continue doing business with the government.
  • Successfully defended a major midwestern U.S. mail haul carrier in a Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour mandatory debarment action allowing the company to maintain its valuable government contracts totaling millions of dollars.

Our debarment attorneys work closely with our other government contracts team members.  For more information on those practices, please select from the practice link buttons below.

GAO Bid ProtestsDisputes & LitigationCourt of Federal ClaimsArmed Services Board of Contract Appeals


Teaming & SubcontractsSmall Business CounsellingContract ComplianceState & Local Government


Debarment & SuspensionInvestigations & Procurement FraudMilitary DischargeSecurity Clearances
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