Happy New Year! As they close out 2019, the Department of Labor continues to release statistics on their previous year. One of these statistics is the number of suspensions and debarments of federal contractors in 2019. Suspensions and Debarments prohibit companies from doing business with the federal government – Suspensions are typically temporary, while a full investigation is being performed, and debarments usually last three years.
The Department of Labor noted a significant increase in the number of suspensions – there were 125 in 2019 versus 21 in 2018. There was also an increase in the number of debarments – 130 debarments in 2019 versus just 15 in 2018. The department credits this increase to a pilot program they put in place at the end of 2018, which has resulted in an increase in information sharing between the Inspector General’s office and the agency tasked with handling discretionary suspensions and debarments.
The program aims to make the process of identifying problems with compliance more efficient. While the department does not consider debarments or suspensions as successes, it is important to note that they are increasing their efforts to identify companies that are not complying with the requirements as a federal contractor and taking actions to remedy the issues.