Suspension and Debarment 

federal government contractor Suspension and Debarment Lawyers

Watson & Associates, LLC helps small and large businesses to overcome the common pitfalls and costly legal mistakes in government suspension and debarment cases. We help to develop a sound legal response to recommendations for putting you on the suspension or debarment list. We represent government contractors and individuals in both nationwide and overseas locations. Some of our debarment law attorneys have actually worked for federal agencies. 

When you receive a notice of proposed debarment or suspension from doing business with the government, the impact of getting on the federal debarment list can be catastrophic and severely impact the company’s ability to make income or severely impact your career. 

In either situation, how you respond to a proposed suspension or debarment letter is critical to the outcome.

With law offices in Washington DC and Colorado, the suspension debarment attorneys at Watson & Associates are geographically positioned to help clients across the United States and overseas. We understand how difficult it is to persuade a Suspension & Debarment Official (SDO) that debarment is not in the interest of the government or, in many situations, that your company is responsible and not the type intended to target by the regulations.

Watson’s government contract lawyers will develop a unique approach to your specific set of facts to help contractors and employees through the suspension. debarment process.

Suspension Debarment Lawyer Services

Watson & Associates’ Government Contracts attorneys frequently represent and consult with federal contractors facing federal debarment and suspensions. We help companies to develop sound internal policies and controls, negotiate settlement agreements, and attend hearings on behalf of employees or government contracting firms.

  • Respond to the government contracting agency’s notice of proposed debarment
  • Representation with contract compliance, government investigations or other legal proceedings when individuals are being debarred from government employment
  • We help with cooperative agreements and settlement proposals
  • Ethics advise and compliance audits and plans.
  • Appearance in debarment proceedings
  • Ethics training
  • Debarment appeals

Debarred from Government Employment?

 Sometimes the government will try to recommend an adverse suspension and or debarment action against federal employees.  If you are being debarred from government employment, our law firm has successfully helped federal employees to get another chance to advance their careers. As federal employee suspension attorneys, we work with you to develop effective responses and to convince the agency and SDO that neither a suspension nor debarment is in either party’s best interest.

22 CFR 1006.865 How long does debarment last?

Depending on the facts of your case, the debarring official will more than likely look at the seriousness of the facts. The more serious infractions will cause a debarment to last a longer period of time.  As a general rule, your debarment should not last more than three years.

If you face more serious situations, the debarring official may be justified in using a longer period of time.

National and Overseas Reach

 With law offices in Washington DC and in Denver, Colorado, the law firm is uniquely positioned to represent small businesses throughout the country and US government contractors overseas facing adverse procurement debarment and suspension of government contractors.

 Help for Small Business Government Contracts and Large Businesses 

Watson & Associates have also helped defense contractors avoid being debarred. We understand the procurement rules and understand that sometimes agency actions are not fair.

Reasons for Suspension or Debarment

There are many reasons why debarment from government contracts occurs. They include criminal actions such as:

  • Criminal or civil fraud, embezzlement, bribery, theft, forgery, false claims statements, falsifying documents, falsification or destruction of records, tax evasion, violating Federal criminal laws, receiving stolen property, an unfair trade practice.
  • Regarding government contracts, you can be placed on the suspension or debarment list for violation of antitrust statutes, a history of failure to perform on government contracts, Buy American Act non-compliance, violation of the rules for maintaining a drug-free work environment.
  • Failure to pay or tax delinquency over $3,000
  • Failure to disclose instances of criminal law violation

Tip Procurement fraud and criminal allegations could lead to suspension or debarment from government contracts.  Companies must be mindful that having two separate cases going on can lead to disastrous results. Do not make the mistake of having an attorney representing you in one case and yet another firm representing you in a criminal case. Evidence in one case can hurt you in the other case.

Tip When responding to notices of suspension or debarment, you should not focus on blame. Although this is an important aspect of your defense, you must also focus on facts showing the SDO why you are a responsible contractor. This is where our SAM debarment and suspension attorneys can help.

Suspension Debarment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Suspension & Debarment process?

  • Agency refers your case to the SDO (this can be from the CO; Office of Inspector General (IG): submitting voluntary & mandatory disclosures (this can be tricky)
  • After the notice of proposed debarment or suspension is issued, you get to respond to and submit discovery and even appear before the SDO for a hearing.
  • SDO makes a decision based on the evidence presented by both sides
  • Debarred contractors are immediately listed on SAM ( if they are suspended or proposed for debarment from government contracts
  • When suspended proposed for debarment, federal contractors may submit matters in opposition demonstrating present responsibility
  • You or your debarment lawyer can request that the SDO meet with you
  • If additional facts are presented, SDO makes a final decision which is provided to the contractor

What is the Difference Between Suspension and Debarment?

Suspension Meaning

  • Immediate Need
  • A temporary measure; there usually. is a twelve-month limit
  • Usually used pending the completion of the investigation or legal proceedings
  • Based upon adequate evidence, usually an indictment or some other serious action that may create a risk to the agency

Debarment Meaning

  • Usually three years as a general rule
  • Based upon a preponderance of the evidence, usually a conviction

Contact Watson’s Suspension Debarment Attorneys


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To avoid ruining your company’s future in government contracting and to protect against agencies debarring your company, contact the suspension and debarment lawyers at the law firm of Watson & Associates toll-free at 866-601-5518 or call our Washington, D. C. Office at 202-827-9750.