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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76838 Find in a Library
Title: Statement of Jo Ann Harris on March 12, 1981 Concerning Federal Debarment and Suspension, Before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management
Author(s): J A Harris
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
Criminal Division
Fraud Section
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An official from the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Criminal Division testified before a Senate committee in 1981 on the effectiveness of existing debarment and suspension procedures in combating fraud in Government contracting.
Abstract: Although the assessment of suspension and debarment procedures falls outside the DOJ's expertise, observations based on experience with recent contract criminal fraud investigations and prosecutions may prove useful to the committee. The balanced and effective use of sound administrative remedies and legal sanctions is vital to the reduction of fraud and waste in government. DOJ has discovered many cases where agencies have not aggressively pursued the suspension and debarment remedy, thereby undercutting the criminal investigation. At the same time, when DOJ has decided to decline prosecution for reasons not related to the responsibility of the contractor, agencies have refused to suspend or disbar. Agencies do not always proceed adminstratively when a criminal action is pending because the prosecutor may feel that an administrative hearing can prejudice the criminal case, and the principles of grand jury secrecy can prohibit DOJ from sharing information with the affected agency. However, both witnesses and juries may question the seriousness of an investigation when the agency fails to suspend a contractor. DOJ now emphasizes that each case must be examined closely to determine if administrative and criminal processes can proceed together without prejudice to the Unites States. The best approach is for the prosecutor and the suspending agency to review the evidence together, agree on it, and make complete disclosure to the contractor. Also discussed are the feasibility of a certificate requiring contractors to indentify previous involvement with administrative or criminal sanctions, a government wide suspension and disbarment procedure, due process requirements, and the preindictment suspension of Midwest Engines and Transco Security.
Index Term(s): Administrative hearings; Federal programs; Federal regulations; Fraud; Grants or contracts; Procurement procedures; Program abuse; US Department of Justice
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