In January and February, my colleague, Bob Wagman, wrote about complications related to provisions on suspension and debarment in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-74) (1/18/12) (2/23/12). The provisions in the 2012 Appropriations Act were all premised on the conviction of a corporation (or in certain provisions, its officer or agent) of a felony criminal violation. This month we look at a proposed bill that would mandate suspension (not debarment) for mere allegations of fraud, among other things.
Around February 29, 2012, Senators Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Jim Webb (Va.) introduced legislation called the Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act of 2012. S.2139, 112th Cong. (2nd Sess. 2012) (Act). Intended to “overhaul the federal government’s planning, management, and oversight of contracting during overseas contingency operations” (Sen. Webb Press Release, Mar. 1, 2012), the bill includes a section on “Additional bases for suspension of contractors from contracting with the Federal Government.” Act sec. 113.
Section 113 of the Act provides for the automatic suspension of a contractor in three situations:
(1) If a contractor is charged with a criminal federal offense related to the performance of a
contract related to “overseas contingency operations” for the Department of Defense,
Department of State, or U.S. Agency for International Development.
(2) If the head of one of the above named agencies makes a final determination that the
contractor failed to pay or refund amounts due or owed to the federal government in
connection with an “overseas contingency operation.”
(3) If the federal government alleges fraud against a contractor in a civil or criminal
proceeding related to a federal contract, whether or not connected to “overseas contingency
operations,” and whether or not the alleged acts were committed by the contractor, its
employee, affiliate, or subsidiary, or any business owned or controlled by the contractor.