FEDweek

DHS Needs to Better Track Contractors, Report Says

DHS needs to improve several aspects of its contractor suspension and debarment program, an IG report has said, finding the pertinent guidance is outdated, is insufficiently specific, and lacks detailed requirements for documenting such decisions.

Individuals or companies may be subject to suspension and debarment for reasons including fraud, falsification of records and failure to perform under the terms of the contract. An agency may instead enter into an administrative agreement, which acts as a sort of last-chance agreement, to correct the deficiencies.

The report said the department did not adequately document five of seven administrative agreements approved over 2012-2017 and “does not have a centralized system to track suspension and debarment activities, which may have contributed to DHS’ inaccurate FY 2016 reporting of suspensions and debarments.”

“Department-level staffing issues may be hindering efficient and effective handling of suspensions and debarments,” it added.

It said DHS agreed with its recommendations, including to assess whether the pertinent office should have additional staff to handle the workload.