This podcast series features Rodney A. Grandon, Managing Director at Affiliated Monitors, Inc., with a five-part series on Suspension and Debarment. During a 27-year career with the US military and government, Grandon served as the Air Force’s Suspending and Debarring Official as well as a wide variety of other functions which gives him subject matter expertise into issues surrounding this topic.

This series includes:

Introduction to Suspension and Debarment

Suspension and debarment are not civil or criminal matters resulting in a penalty being imposed on a particular party. Suspension and Debarment is an administrative matter. In a civil or criminal matter, the Department of Justice takes the lead in those actions which are contested litigated matters, with civil and criminal rules around evidence and procedure.  While suspension and debarment have evidentiary and procedural considerations, they are much more informal. Grandon noted the rules basically say they should be as informal as it as is practicable under the circumstances.

What is the difference between Suspension and Debarment?

Interestingly many of the benefits of a company in working with a monitor come from A suspension is used when there is an immediate need. It is a temporary measure; there is a twelve-month limit, which can be extended for another six months. A debarment is for a specific term but is generally not longer than three years.  Grandon emphasized the temporary nature of a suspension while debarment is seen as more permanent, even with the limit of the term.

What is the convergence between Suspension & Debarment and the FCPA?

Debarment may be based on actions so serious or compelling that it affects the present responsibility of the contractor or subcontractor. Grandon noted, “there is some fairly broad language as to what the basis for a suspension and debarment can be.” This means that in the context of anti-corruption laws, it can be the basis of a suspension or debarment, further meaning that under the FCPA, the conduct to incur a violation does not require actual bribery or corruption.

What is a present responsibility determination?

Present responsibility has become sort of a buzzword. It’s the underlying basis for action involving excluding a party from the federal marketplace through suspension or department.” Unfortunately, the phrase itself is not defined anywhere in the regulatory structure. This means its determination comes “down to the discretion of the federal officials who have been empowered to exercise the suspension and debarment authority.

Remedies and Compliance in Suspension and Debarment

Grandon said that the defense community largely led the process of putting together an effective ethics and compliance programs. “There were defense industry initiatives where the contractors get together and talk about what it takes to promote ethics and compliance and the defense industry been doing this for years.” This led Grandon to find, that non-governmental commercial industries were not as far along as defense industries.

For more information on Affiliated Monitors, visit their website at