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  6. Suspension and Debarment Program

DHS Suspension and Debarment Program

The DHS Suspension and Debarment Program protects the federal government by ensuring that the federal government deals only with presently responsible contractors and participants. Suspension and debarment are administrative remedies that prevent individuals and entities who have engaged in some form of malfeasance, gross misconduct, or who were found to be in noncompliance with certain laws, from receiving future government contracts, subcontracts, grants, cooperative agreements, loans, and other covered transactions.

The DHS Suspension and Debarment Program falls under the oversight, direction, and guidance of the DHS General Counsel. The DHS General Counsel has delegated authority to the DHS Suspension and Debarment Official (SDO) to take suspension and debarment action on behalf of DHS. The DHS SDO has further delegated authority to Suspension and Debarment Officials at Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

DHS exclusions are reported in the General Services Administration’s System for Award Management (SAM). DHS Administrative Agreements are published in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). The DHS Suspension and Debarment Program reports its metrics through the annual reports of the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (ISDC).

Additional information pertaining to Component-specific Suspension and Debarment Programs can be found at CBP Suspension and Debarment Program.

In all suspension and debarment actions, the DHS Suspension and Debarment Program follows the procedures of either the Federal Acquisition Regulation, (48 C.F.R. Subpart 9.4) or the nonprocurement common rule (2 C.F.R. § 180), as implemented by 2 C.F.R. § 3000. Further guidance on suspension and debarment is provided in the Homeland Security Acquisition manual, which can be found at https://www.dhs.gov/hsam and the DHS Suspension and Debarment Instruction.

Q1: Can a proposed debarment be initiated based on a misdemeanor conviction?

A1: Yes. A proposed debarment may be initiated based upon a preponderance of evidence of non-compliance with specific laws, malfeasance, or gross misconduct affecting the federal government’s interest. This includes misdemeanor and felony convictions, but a conviction is not required to initiate a proposed debarment.

Q2: How long does the Respondent have to submit information in opposition to the proposed debarment?

A2: The Respondent or their representative has thirty (30) calendar days from receipt of the Notice of Proposed Debarment to respond.

Q3: What should be expected at a Presentation of Matters in Opposition?

A3: If meeting with DHS officials for a Presentation of Matters in Opposition, come prepared to discuss the matter leading to the cause for the proposed debarment and remedial measures taken since that time. It is encouraged that written documentation be provided at least five (5) days prior to the meeting. Agency officials at the meeting may include the Suspension and Debarment Official, Suspension and Debarment Director, Suspension and Debarment Analyst, Agency Counsel, Investigators, or other Agency personnel involved in the matter.

Q4: Will a debarment affect Social Security benefits?

A4: A debarment does not prohibit an individual from receiving a personal entitlement such as Social Security income. See 2 C.F.R. § 180.215(b).

Q5: How does a Respondent request reconsideration of a DHS debarment?

A5: If one of the factors for reconsideration found at 2 C.F.R. § 180.880 or 48 C.F.R. § 9.406-4(c) is met, the Respondent may request reconsideration in writing with supporting documentation by contacting the point of contact listed in the Notice of Proposed Debarment.

Pro-active disclosures to the DHS or Component SDO are encouraged. The steps provided below should be taken if an individual or entity would like to proactively disclose a matter to the DHS or Component Suspension and Debarment Official (SDO) based on criminal or other misconduct. A self-referral happens before the SDO issues a Notice of Suspension, Notice of Proposed Debarment or Show Cause.

  1. Contact the cognizant Component Suspension and Debarment Director to set up a meeting.
  2. Representatives at the meeting from DHS may include, but are not limited to, the Cognizant SDO, SDD, Agency Legal Counsel, and a representative from the appropriate DHS investigative unit. If another federal agency has an interest in the outcome, they may be present as well.
  3. The individual or entity should come to the meeting prepared to discuss what happened to cause the misconduct, any mitigating factors, and what remedial measures have been taken to ensure that there will be no future instances of misconduct. It is recommended that the individual or entity send a representative to the meeting who has knowledge of the incidents and the authority to speak on behalf of the individual or entity and be able to answer any questions posed by the government.
  4. Any information the individual or entity would like considered by the SDO should be submitted in writing five days prior to the meeting. Additionally, note that there may be a need for follow up conversations.
  5. There are generally three possible outcomes: 1) no action will be taken based on the mitigating factors and remedial measures; 2) an administrative agreement; or 3) a suspension or proposed debarment.
Agency/Component SDO POC Contact Information
DHS Jennifer Ward Karen Foskey
(202) 961-8033
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Virginia McPherson (Acting) Daniel Lewis 
(202) 853-5090
Federal Emergency Management Agency Michael Cameron Ariel Rayman
(202) 394-8297
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Denise Roberson Michael Buckingham
(202) 309-6128


Last Updated: 05/16/2024
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