On March 5, the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (“ISDC”) released a consolidated report to Congress on suspension and debarment developments for FY12 and FY13. Issued in the face of continued legislative pressure to utilize suspension and debarment, the report documents an overall rise in the number of suspensions and debarments – from 4,639 in FY2012 to 4,842 in FY2013. The number of case referrals to an agency’s Suspension and Debarment Officer (“SDO”) also increased from 3,700 in FY12 to 3,942 in FY13; and the number of agencies’ declinations to pursue action decreased from 200 to 154. While the trends observed in the report indicate that some agencies are making a greater effort to enhance the transparency and due process in suspension and debarment proceedings, other trends indicate that the process is potentially being used as a punitive measure.
Section 873(a)(7) of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for FY2009 requires the ISDC to annually provide a report of various suspension and debarment-related updates to Congress, including: (1) progress and efforts to improve the suspension and debarment system, and (2) each ISDC agency’s activities and accomplishments in the government-wide debarment system. The report focused particularly on the activities of defense agencies, as many of them “have more mature suspension and debarment programs.”
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