As a contractor maintaining a government contract should not be taken lightly. It can get confusing with the terminologies, regulations, and acronyms and we all know in the federal arena there are an enormous amount of acronyms so I am going to keep it simple and tell you about one… and that is FAR. FAR stands for Federal Acquisition Regulations. The FAR was created to guide not only the government personnel with federal contracts, but also the contractors. Hopefully by now you have realized that if you want to work in the federal market it is best that you know and understand the regulations of the FAR, or at least have a knowledgeable consultant to assist you. FAR Part 9.4 speaks about contractor debarment. A lot of vendors get debarment confused with suspension and termination, all three are different. I am just going to focus on debarment now and provide more information in future blogs for suspension and termination.

A debarment is the most serious punishment that a contractor can have. It means that you have violated your contract in some way and are no longer able to participate in any federal government programs pertaining to government contracts, subcontracts, loans, grants and other assistance, also did I mention that this was government-wide. To add a few more thorns to your side you will be placed on a list of excluded companies that all federal agencies will have access to. The positive side to this is if you don’t violate the rules you won’t be debarred.

Here are ten reasons a contractor could face debarment:

  •  Commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with a public contract or subcontract;
  •  Violation of antitrust statutes relating to the submission of offers;
  •  Commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery and related crimes;
  •  Intentionally affixing a label bearing a “Made in America” inscription to a product sold in or shipped to the United States, when the product was not made in the United States;
  •  Violation of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988;
  • Commission of an unfair trade practice;
  • Non-compliance (as determined by the Attorney General) with Immigration and Nationality Act employment provisions;
  • Violation of the terms of a government contract or subcontract so serious as to justify debarment;
  • Commission of any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty that seriously and directly affects the present responsibility of a government contractor or subcontractor;
  • Any other cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects the present responsibility of a government contractor or subcontractor.

Federal agencies seeking debarment must provide the contractor written notice of the reasons for the debarment; the contractor has 30 days to respond with a justifiable reason. In order to avoid this from happening to your reputation and company growth follow the rules or have someone in place that will be able to guide your company in the federal arena.


You can, as long as you include the following with it:

“Ilene Giles is an expert with GSA contracts and its process and she has helped contractors worldwide in winning more federal business faster and easier with a GSA contract. Get her FREE CD “Top 3 Things You Should Know When Applying for a GSA Contract” at”