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Government’s Annual Suspensions & Debarment Report

By law, the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (ISDC) is required to report to Congress on government-wide progress toward improving suspension and debarment, and to summarize each constituent agency’s suspension and debarment activities. The ISDC’s report for FY2017 was issued July 31, 2018 (the “Report”). The Report also appends data about suspensions and debarments in FY2017. Overall, suspensions and debarments are down 14% from FY2016, though still nearly double the FY2009 numbers (when ISDC first started tracking these data). The report generally apprises Congress that traditional tools—proactive engagement, administrative agreements—continue to play valuable roles in avoiding or resolving potential suspensions or debarments. Increased use of “pre-notice” letters. Suspending and Debarring Officials (“SDOs”) are  increasingly using nonexclusionary tools—such as show-cause letters or requests for  information—to “better assess the risk to Government programs and determine what measures  are necessary to protect the Government’s interest without immediately imposing an exclusion  action.” These letters were sent 21% more frequently this year than last, and are up almost  three-fold since FY2009. This suggests a more tempered approach and movement away from a ‘suspend first, ask questions later’ attitude.

Co-Authors: Steven Shaw, Jason C. Lynch.

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