Suspension, Debarment, and Agency Protests

Employees having a discussion

GSA implements government-wide regulations that help agencies conduct business.

Suspension & Debarment

GSA's Suspension & Debarment Division processes suspension and debarment cases and provides direct support to GSA’s Suspension & Debarment Official (SDO). The GSA SDO decides whether or not to take administrative actions such as suspensions or debarments. Contractors found not to be presently responsible are suspended or debarred and listed on the System for Award Management (SAM). The GSA SDO actively engages in outreach and education and speaks frequently on the topic at American Bar Association meetings, Trade Association, Contractor, and Government gatherings.

Agency Protests

Government contractors may protest a GSA procurement action awarded by a GSA Contracting Officer to the GSA Agency Protest Official (APO) through the Contracting Officer. This does not include task orders issued under a GSA Schedule umbrella contract. Those protests need to be protested directly to the Agency that issued the task order and whose contracting official made a decision. GSA's Suspension & Debarment Division issues agency protest decisions and provides direct support to GSA’s APO.

The APO’s authority is derived from Executive Order 12979. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 33.1 and the General Services Acquisition Manual (GSAM) 533.1 contain the rules and procedures that govern the agency protest process. Disputes before the APO are normally resolved in a more timely manner than disputes presented to the Government Accountability Office due to the FAR’s 35-day rule regarding agency protests (see FAR 33.103(g)).

Please note that pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 2304c(e) and 41 U.S.C. § 4106(f), protests are not authorized in connection with the issuance or proposed issuance of an order under a task-order contract or delivery-order contract, except for

  1. A protest on the grounds that the order increases the scope, period, or maximum value of the contract; or
  2. A protest of an order valued in excess of $10 million ($25 million for DoD, NASA, and the Coast Guard). Protests of orders in excess of these value thresholds may be filed with the Government Accountability Office, in accordance with the procedures at FAR 33.104.

Training and Presentations


Last Reviewed: 2023-02-21