DHS another step closer to departmentwide debarments

Rulemaking goes into effect Aug. 17

The Homeland Security Department is another step closer to ensuring that organizations banned from doing business with one DHS agency will not be able to slip in and do business with another.

The department issued an interim final rule regarding how it carries out nonprocurement-related suspensions and debarments, including those affecting recipients of grants.

DHS, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, handles distribution of disaster-related loans and grants as well as annual emergency preparedness and counterterrorism grants to state, local and tribal agencies. If an entity is prohibited from doing business with one agency of DHS due to a suspension or debarment, the ban applies departmentwide.

The new rule establishes a new section in the Code of Federal Regulations as part of DHS’ implementation of the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance on nonprocurement debarments and suspensions dating from 2005, according to a notice in the Federal Register on July 16.

“This rulemaking is consistent with OMB's initiative to streamline and consolidate Federal regulations, and brings all DHS components under a DHS-wide nonprocurement debarment and suspension system,” the Federal Register notice states.

The interim final rule goes into effect on Aug. 17. Comments must received before that date.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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