Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–359.07. Debarment and suspension.

(a)(1) After reasonable notice to a person, and reasonable opportunity to be heard:

(A) The CPO shall debar a person from consideration for award of contracts or subcontracts for any conviction under subsection (c)(1) through (3) of this section, for a judicial determination of a violation under subsection (c)(4) of this section, or for a CPO determination of a violation under subsection (c)(5) through (7) of this section, unless the CPO makes a finding in writing that it would be contrary to the best interests of the District to do so or the present responsibility of the person is such that a debarment would not be warranted; and

(B) The CPO may debar a person from consideration for award of contracts or subcontracts if one or more of the causes listed in subsection (b) of this section exist.

(2) The debarment shall not be for a period of more than 5 years.

(b)(1) The CPO shall suspend a person from consideration for award of contracts or subcontracts for any conviction listed in subsection (c)(1) through (3) of this section, for a judicial determination of a violation under subsection (c)(4) or (5) of this section, or for a CPO determination of a violation under subsection (c)(5) through (7) of this section, unless the CPO makes a finding in writing that it would be contrary to the best interests of the District to do so.

(2) The CPO may suspend a person from consideration for award of contracts or subcontracts if the person is charged with the commission of any offense described in subsection (c) of this section and if the CPO makes a finding in writing that such suspension would be in the best interests of the District unless the present responsibility of the person is such that a suspension would not be warranted.

(c) Causes for debarment or suspension include the following:

(1) Conviction for the commission of a criminal offense incident to obtaining, or attempting to obtain, a public or private contract or subcontract or in the performance of the contract or subcontract;

(2) Conviction under this chapter or under any other District, federal, or state law for fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, receiving stolen property, or any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity which currently affects the contractor’s responsibility as a District government contractor;

(3) Conviction under District, federal, or state antitrust laws arising out of the submission of bids or proposals;

(4) A violation under subchapter I of Chapter 3B of this chapter [§ § 2-381.01 through 2-381.09];

(5) A false assertion of certified business enterprise status or eligibility as defined in subchapter IX-A of Chapter 2 of this title [§ 2-218.01 et seq.];

(6) A violation of contract provisions, as set forth below, of a character which is regarded by the CPO to be sufficiently serious to justify debarment action:

(A) Willful failure, without good cause, to perform in accordance with the specifications or within the time limit provided in the contract; or

(B) A recent record of failure to perform or of unsatisfactory performance in accordance with the terms or conditions of one or more contracts; provided, that failure to perform or unsatisfactory performance caused by acts beyond the control of the contractor shall not be considered to be bases for debarment;

(6A) A violation of subchapter II of Chapter 13 of Title 32 [§ 32-1331.01 et seq.];

(7) Any other cause the CPO determines to be sufficiently serious and compelling to affect responsibility as a District government contractor, including debarment by another governmental entity for any cause listed in rules; or

(8) Submission of a bid or proposal to contract with an agency or office of the District by a person debarred or suspended pursuant to a conviction under subsection (c)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, unless the CPO has provided in the submission a written statement to the Chairman of the Council of the compelling reasons to consider the bid or proposal. A second debarment resulting from the submission of a bid or proposal by a debarred person shall result in a permanent debarment pursuant to subsection (k) of this section.

(d)(1) After reasonable notice to a person and reasonable opportunity to be heard, the CPO may debar the person from consideration for award of any contract or subcontract if the CPO receives written notification from:

(A) The Chairman of the Council or the chairperson of a Council committee that the person has willfully failed to cooperate in a Council or Council committee investigation conducted pursuant to § 1-204.13;

(B) The District of Columbia Auditor that the person has willfully failed to cooperate in an audit conducted pursuant to § 1-204.55 or to produce books or records pursuant to § 1-354.18; or

(C) The Inspector General that the person has willfully failed to cooperate in an audit, inspection, or investigation conducted pursuant to § 1-301.115a(a)(3)) or to produce books and records pursuant to § 1-354.18.

(2) The CPO shall issue a decision on a debarment recommended through a notification received under paragraph (1) of this subsection within 30 days of receipt of the notification.

(3) The debarment shall be for a period of 5 years, unless the CPO receives written notification during the 5-year period from the Chairman of the Council or the chairperson of a Council committee, the District of Columbia Auditor, or the Inspector General that the debarred person has cooperated in the audit, inspection, or investigation referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “willfully failed to cooperate” means:

(A) Intentionally failed to attend and give testimony at a public hearing convened in accordance with the Rules of Organization and Procedure for the Council; or

(B) Intentionally failed to provide documents, books, papers, or other information upon request of the Council or a Council committee, the District of Columbia Auditor, or the Inspector General.

(e) The CPO shall issue a written decision to debar or suspend a person. The decision shall:

(1) State the relevant facts and the reasons for the action taken;

(2) Describe the present responsibility of the person;

(3) Describe whether the debarment is in the best interests of the District; and

(4) Inform the debarred or suspended person of the right to judicial or administrative review as provided in this chapter.

(f) A copy of the decision pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall be final and conclusive unless fraudulent or unless the debarred or suspended person appeals to the Contract Appeals Board within 60 days of receipt of the CPO’s decision by the person.

(g) The filing of an action pursuant to subsection (f) of this section shall not stay the CPO’s decision.

(h)(1) Unless otherwise indicated in the debarment or suspension decision, the debarment or suspension of a person shall be effective for all District government agencies.

(2) Unless otherwise indicated in the debarment or suspension decision, the debarment or suspension of a person shall constitute a debarment or suspension of any affiliate of that person.

(i) If a person is charged with or convicted of committing any offense listed in subsection (c)(1) through (5) of this section, the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia or the United States Attorney, whoever is responsible for prosecuting the charge, shall immediately notify the CPO of the charge or conviction and shall provide such information to the CPO as may otherwise be permitted by law to enable the CPO to take any action authorized by this section. The CPO, in turn, shall immediately notify both the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the United States Attorney of any action taken or finding made under this section.

(j)(1) The Office of Contracting and Procurement shall compile and maintain a list of persons who have been debarred or suspended in the District to be known as the “Excluded Parties List,” which shall include:

(A) The name and phone number of the OCP official responsible for maintaining the list;

(B) The names and addresses of suspended and debarred persons;

(C) The name of the agency that instituted the suspension or debarment;

(D) The cause of the suspension or debarment; and

(E) The dates and terms of each suspension or debarment.

(2)(A) The Excluded Parties List shall be updated monthly and prominently published on the OCP’s website.

(B) Copies of the Excluded Parties List shall be distributed electronically to District contracting officers and contract administrators on a monthly basis.

(C)(i) Bids or proposals received from a person named on the Excluded Parties List shall be rejected unless the CPO provides the person with a written statement before the bid or proposal is submitted stating the compelling reasons why the bid or proposal should be considered. The CPO’s determination shall be appended to the bid or proposal submitted.

(ii) If the bid or proposal is awarded to the debarred or suspended person, the award, along with the CPO’s determination, shall be prominently published on the OCP’s website within 15 days of the issuance of the award and published in the District of Columbia Register as soon as is practicable.

(3) Immediately before the award of a contract, the contracting officer or administrator shall review the most recent version of the Excluded Parties List to ensure that persons being considered for the award are not named on the list. If a person being considered for the award appears on the Excluded Parties List, the contracting officer or administrator shall notify the person in writing that the person’s bid or proposal shall be rejected unless the person provides a written statement from the CPO in accordance with sib-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph within 15 days of receipt of the written notification.

(k) A person who has been debarred 2 times by the District shall be banned permanently from contracting with a District agency or office; provided, that the suspensions leading to debarment resulted from a violation, conviction, or judicial determination listed in subsection (b)(1) of this section but not a charge listed in subsection (b)(2) of this subsection. A permanent ban from contracting with the District bars a person from consideration for award of contracts or subcontracts permanently; provided, that 10 years after the person’s debarment, the person may be eligible for reinstatement if the CPO provides written notification to the Chairman of the Council that the person’s business practices have been reformed.


(Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-371, § 907, 58 DCR 1185; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-298, § 2, 60 DCR 2631; Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-300, § 3, 60 DCR 2679; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 1062, 62 DCR 10905.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 2-308.04.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-353.02.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-298 deleted “or” from the end of (c)(5) and (c)(6)(B); added “or” to the end of (c)(7); added (c)(8); and added (j) and (k).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-300 deleted “or” from the end of (c)(6); and added (c)(6A).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 rewrote (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1062 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).