Federal government purchases of contracted goods and services have grown to more than $300 billion annually. To protect the government's interests, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provides that agencies can suspend or debar contractors for causes affecting present responsibility--such as serious failure to perform to the terms of a contract. The FAR provides flexibility to agencies in developing a suspension or debarment process. GAO was asked to (1) describe the general guidance on the suspension and debarment process and how selected agencies have implemented the process, and (2) identify any needed improvements in the suspension and debarment process. We examined the FAR and the regulations of 24 agencies that have FAR supplements governing suspension and debarment procedures. We selected 6 defense and civilian agencies representing about 67 percent of fiscal year 2003 federal contract spending for in-depth review.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|General Services Administration||To improve the effectiveness of the suspension and debarment process, the Administrator of General Services should modify the EPLS database to require contractor identification numbers for all actions entered into the system.|
|Office of Management and Budget||To improve the effectiveness of the suspension and debarment process, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should require agencies to collect and report data on administrative agreements and compelling reason determinations to the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee and ensure that these data are available to all suspension and debarment officials.|