Suspension and Debarment

Suspension or debarment from contracting with the federal government can have devastating consequences for prime contractors, subcontractors and grantees. A contractor’s “present responsibility” status is a critical asset.  These actions will preclude federal contractors and individuals involved in federal contracting activities from receiving, working on or competing for government contracts potentially for years.  Moreover, under the FAR’s internal compliance program and mandatory disclosure requirements, contractors bear the burden of self-policing and self-reporting their own activities or risk damaging their reputations as responsible contractors.

Dempsey Fontana attorneys regularly advise contractors facing threatened or actual suspension and debarment.  We have worked extensively with DOD and civilian agency Suspension and Debarment Officials (SDOs) to prevent  and resolve suspension and debarment actions as well as negotiate termination of such actions.  We have assisted clients in responding to show-cause notices, advocated for contractors facing potential suspension or debarment in meetings, negotiations and presentations to agency SDOs, negotiated administrative agreements and worked with contractors to shore up compliance practices in response to threatened suspension or debarment. 


Our representative matters include:

  • Represented client who had settled civil False Claims Act allegations before the Army's SDO and avoided a suspension and potential debarment proceeding without any administrative agreement.
  • Represented a large IT company that was among a group of suspended companies on a large Air Force contract resulting in the termination of the suspension without an administrative agreement.
  • Represented a prominent elected government official in a suspension and proposed debarment proceeding with the successful lifting of that suspension despite a criminal conviction.
  • Represented a small business prime contractor suspended along with the large business subcontractor, resulting in the lifting of the suspension in 11 days.
  • Represented several contractors issued “show cause “notices by agencies seeking to initiate suspension and debarment proceedings with all resulting in no actions on the part of the SDOs.