On Dec. 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation to implement certain sections of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 to “prohibit the Federal Government from entering into a contract with any corporation having a delinquent Federal tax liability or a felony conviction under any Federal law, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.”

Under interim rule — which takes effect on Feb. 26, 2016 — offerors responding to federal solicitations will be required to make a representation regarding whether they are a corporation with (1) a delinquent federal tax liability or (2) a felony conviction under federal law. When an offeror provides “an affirmative response” in connection with either of these representations, the contracting officer is required under the interim rule to request additional information from the offeror and to notify the “agency official responsible for initiating debarment or suspension action.” The interim rule further provides that the contracting officer “shall not make an award to the corporation unless an agency suspending or debarring official has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and determined that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.”

This article first appeared in Government Contracts Law360 on December 14, 2015. (login required)