Suspension and Debarment: What Small Businesses Should Know

GSA's Suspension & Debarment Division (S&D) processes suspension and debarment cases and provides direct support to GSA's Suspension & Debarment Official.

Suspension and Debarment Webinar

Disclaimer: The webinar recording and FAQs are not legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are limitations on an excluded contractor's ability to act as a subcontractor under a prime contract. Refer to FAR 9.405-2, "Restrictions on subcontracting".

Any person or organization that meets the FAR 9.403 definition of a "Contractor" can be suspended or debarred.

The FAR does not further define a "lack of business integrity or business honesty".

"Violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes relating to the submission of offers" is a cause for suspension or debarment stated in FAR 9.4.

FAR 9.4 suspension or debarment of a contractor does not require the Government to terminate the contractor's current contracts.

FAR 9.4 lists a suspension or debarment cause for "Knowing failure by a principal, until 3 years after final payment on any Government contract awarded to the contractor, to timely disclose to the Government, in connection with the award, performance, or closeout of the contract or a subcontract thereunder, credible evidence of…Violation of the civil False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3729-3733)". This cause does not require the contractor's violation of the False Claims Act to be proven by a court judgment.

To determine whether a contractor is excluded on, click "Entity Information", select "Exclusions" from the drop-down menu, enter the contractor's name, then click the search icon.

A contractor may consider reporting Government agency employee misconduct to the agency's office of the inspector general.

In appropriate situations, a Suspension & Debarment Official may issue a contractor a Request For Information or a Show Cause Letter. These actions do not exclude the contractor.

The Government's cancellation of a GSA Multiple Award Schedule contract based on insufficient reported sales is a different process, under different authority, than suspension and debarment.

Generally, suspensions may last up to 12 months before court proceedings are initiated. Once court proceedings are initiated, the suspension may stay in effect until proceedings are concluded. Debarment of a contractor is a Governmentwide exclusion from Federal contracts and grants.

You can determine whether a contractor is excluded by searching the contractor's name at Click "Entity Information", select "Exclusions" from the drop-down menu, enter the contractor's name, then click the search icon.

In recent years, the numbers of Government suspensions and debarments of individuals and companies have been in the thousands. The Interagency Suspension & Debarment Committee reports this data annually. These reports are posted at:

FAR 9.403 defines a "Contractor". Any person or organization that meets that definition can be suspended or debarred. A Suspension & Debarment Official will decide whether debarment of any individuals or companies is necessary on a case-by-case basis.

Yes, the Department of Labor does have suspension and debarment authority.

Last Reviewed: 2023-05-10