Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: An Overview of the Law Including Recently Enacted and Proposed Amendments [January 6, 2012] [open pdf - 351KB]
"As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest-priced (or best-value) qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Debarment and suspension are among the techniques that government agencies use to ensure that they contract with only 'responsible' bidders or offerors. Debarred contractors are ineligible for government contracts for a fixed period of time, which can vary depending upon the authority under which the contractor is debarred and the seriousness of the conduct underlying the debarment; while suspended contractors are ineligible for the duration of any investigation into or litigation involving their conduct. Persons may be debarred or suspended (i.e., excluded) from federal contracting on procurement or nonprocurement grounds. This report focuses upon exclusions on procurement grounds. It surveys the authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to debar or suspend contractors, due process and other protections for contractors, and recently enacted and proposed amendments to the laws governing exclusion."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34753