1.) How is debarment defined?
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
Subpart 2.1 provides a definition of debarment.
“Debarment” means action taken by a debarring official
under 9.406 to exclude a contractor from Government
contracting and Government-approved subcontracting for a
reasonable, specified period; a contractor that is
excluded is “debarred.” Also refer to 2 CFR Part 180,
Subpart 1 – Definitions: § 180.925 Debarment. Debarment
means an action taken by a debarring official under
Subpart H of this part to exclude a person from
participating in covered transactions and transactions
covered under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (48 CFR
chapter I). A person so excluded is debarred.
2.) Who is considered to be a contractor?
The FAR Subpart 9.403 defines a
“contractor” broadly to include any individual or other
legal entity that conducts any business, or is expected
to conduct any business, with the Government as an agent
or representative of another contractor.
3.) What is the period of exclusion for a debarment
taken under the Immigration and Nationality Act?
The ICE Suspension and Debarment
Official (SDO) would determine the length of the
debarment commensurate with the seriousness of the
cause(s) and the period of debarment would depend on
whether the violation was civil or criminal. For civil
violations, the Cause and Treatment Code (CT Code)
08-INA-01 in the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)
states “Debarments are for one year, and may be extended
for additional one year increments if continuing
violations are found by the Secretary of Homeland
Security or the Attorney General”. For criminal
violations, the CT Code 08-INA-02 states “Debarments are
for a specified term as determined by the debarring
agency and as indicated in the listing.” See FAR
4.) What are the causes for a debarment taken under
the Immigration and Nationality Act?
Under the authority of Executive
Orders 12989 and 13286, contractors may be considered
for debarment, pursuant to FAR § 9.406-2(b)(2), for
several different violations of the INA including:
- Convictions of knowingly hiring
- Convictions of continuing to
employ an alien who is or becomes unauthorized;
- Convictions of engaging in
patterns and practices of knowingly hiring or
continuing to knowingly employ unauthorized workers;
- Issuance of a final order for a
civil fine which reflects unlawful hiring or
continuing to hire unauthorized workers.
5.) How will a contractor know they are going to be
The FAR Subpart 9.406-3 (c) Notice of
Proposal to Debar, details the debarment process.
Contractors being considered for debarment will be
notified of the basis for proposed debarment and have 30
days to respond, in writing, in person, or through a
representative, as to why they should not be debarred.
6.) What companies are you looking at now?
Please refer to our press releases as
we issue notifications to contractors and update the
Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) with their names.
7.) I didn’t know about this policy before. Why is
my company being debarred now?
The former INS was authorized to debar
companies who hire unauthorized workers in 1996. The
INS worksite strategy, however, focused primarily on the
use of civil fines to gain employer compliance. In
contrast, ICE implemented a worksite enforcement
strategy that focused on bringing criminal charges and
seeking criminal fines and forfeitures against
employers. This investigative strategy has resulted in
convictions and violations that make companies amenable
for debarment. The initial companies notified of
possible debarment have been found to have knowingly
hired or continued to employ unauthorized workers within
the past 2 years.
8.) How does the debarment affect major corporations
and their components? Say a major corporation is
debarred, does that mean all its subsidiaries are
debarred as well?
Normally, the scope of the debarment
will be limited to those organizational units that have
engaged in the unlawful hiring of unauthorized workers.
See FAR Subpart 9.406-1 (a) and (b)(1)
and (2) for a complete discussion. The debarring
official must determine whether debarment is in the
Government’s interest. The debarring official may debar
a contractor for any of the causes in FAR Subpart
9.406-2, using procedures in 9.406-3. The existence of a
cause for debarment does not necessarily require that
the contractor be debarred. The seriousness of the
contractor’s acts or omissions and any remedial measures
or mitigating factors should be considered before any
debarment action is taken. Debarment constitutes
debarment of all divisions or other organizational
elements of the contractor unless the decision is
limited by its terms to specific divisions,
organizational elements, or commodities.
9.) How many contractors are currently debarred?
ICE currently has not debarred any
contractors. Once ICE debars a contractor, its name and
information will be entered into the Excluded Parties
List System (EPLS) by ICE.
10.) What is the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)?
The Excluded Parties Listing Systems (EPLS)
is an electronic, web-based system that identifies
parties suspended, debarred, proposed for debarment or
otherwise excluded from receiving Federal contracts,
certain subcontracts, and certain types of Federal
financial and non-financial assistance and benefits.
The General Services Administration is the agency
responsible for maintaining the EPLS. To view the EPLS
and to find out more information about the system,
12.) If a contractor is debarred and they have an
existing contract, what happens to them?
FAR 9.405-1 Continuation of current
- Notwithstanding the debarment or
proposed debarment of a contractor, agencies may
continue contracts or subcontracts in existence at
the time the contractor was debarred or proposed for
debarment unless the agency head directs otherwise.
A decision as to the type of termination action, if
any, to be taken should be made only after review by
agency contracting and technical personnel and by
counsel to ensure the propriety of the proposed
- For contractors debarred or
proposed for debarment, unless the agency head makes
a written determination of the compelling reasons
for doing so, ordering activities shall not-
- Place orders exceeding the
guaranteed minimum under indefinite quantity
- Place orders under optional
use Federal Supply Schedule contracts, blanket
purchase agreements, or basic ordering
- Add new work, exercise
options, or otherwise extend the duration of
current contracts or orders.
(NOTE: Some or all
of the above text from