Persuaded SDO to Abandon Plan to Debar Client

We proved that our client did not submit false claims and that it was presently responsible, persuading the SDO to terminate further action.

The agency directed our client to show cause why it should not be debarred. A show cause letter usually provides the general nature of the suspected misconduct that the Suspension and Debarment Official (SDO) is reviewing and provides the contractor with an opportunity to submit whatever it wishes to demonstrate it is a presently responsible contractor.

Here, the SDO’s direction was based on an agency investigation establishing that our client had failed to perform certain steps in the manufacturing process the government believed were mandatory. According to the agency, the client’s failure to perform those steps made each invoice it submitted a separate false claim. Based on those alleged false claims, the SDO was considering debarring our client.

However, the contract also contained performance requirements for those same products. The client had properly tested the products and ensured that the products met or exceeded the contract’s performance requirements. Only then did the client deliver those products to the government and submit invoices.

We prepared the response to the show cause notice. We argued that our client had reasonably interpreted the contract to condition payment on proper testing that demonstrated the products met the performance requirements of the contract. We further argued that our client’s reasonable interpretation of the contract, combined with the satisfactory testing results, negated the intent required to submit any false claim. Finally, we submitted a significant amount of evidence establishing that our client was presently responsible. The SDO agreed with us and terminated his consideration of debarment.

Lead Attorney
Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson
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Persuaded SDO to Abandon Plan to Debar Client