(a) Investigation and referral.
(1) Offices responsible for the award and administration of contracts are responsible for reporting to the appropriate Senior Procurement Executive and the DOE Inspector General information about possible fraud, waste, abuse, or other wrongdoing which may constitute or contribute to a cause(s) for debarment under this subpart. Circumstances that involve possible criminal or fraudulent activities must be reported to the Office of the Inspector General in accordance with 10 CFR part 1010, Conduct of Employees, § 1010.103, Reporting Wrongdoing.
(2) At a minimum, referrals for consideration of debarment action should be in writing and should include the following information -
(i) The recommendation and rationale for the referral;
(ii) A statement of facts;
(iii) Copies of documentary evidence and a list of all witnesses, including addresses and telephone numbers, together with a statement concerning their availability to appear at a fact-finding proceeding and the subject matter of their testimony;
(iv) A list of parties including the contractor, principals, and affiliates (including last known home and business addresses, zip codes and DUNS Number or other identifying number for an individual);
(v) DOE's and NNSA's acquisition history with the contractor, including recent experience under contracts and copies of pertinent contracts;
(vi) A list of any known active or potential criminal investigations, criminal or civil proceedings, or administrative claims before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals or other fact-finding body; and
(vii) A statement regarding the impact of the debarment action on DOE and NNSA programs. This statement is not required for referrals by the Inspector General.
(3) Referrals may be returned to the originator for further information or development.
(b) Decisionmaking process. Contractors proposed for debarment shall be afforded an opportunity to submit information and argument in opposition to the proposed debarment.
(1) In actions based upon a conviction or civil judgment, or in which there is no genuine dispute over material facts, the Debarring Official shall make a decision on the basis of all the information in the administrative record, including any submissions made by the contractor. If the respondent fails to submit a timely written response to a notice of proposed debarment, the Debarring Official shall notify the respondent in accordance with FAR 9.406-3(e) that the contractor is debarred.
(2) In actions not based upon a conviction or civil judgment, the contractor may request a fact-finding hearing to resolve a genuine dispute of material fact. In its request, the contractor must identify the material facts in dispute and the basis for disputing the facts. If the Debarring Official determines that there is a genuine dispute of material fact, the Debarring Official shall appoint, and refer the matter to, a Fact-Finding Official for a fact-finding conference.
(3) Meeting. Upon receipt of a timely request from a contractor proposed for debarment, the Debarring Official shall schedule a meeting between the Debarring Official and the respondent, to be held no later than 30 days from the date the request is received. The Debarring Official may postpone the date of the meeting if the respondent requests a postponement in writing. At the meeting, the respondent, appearing personally or through an attorney or other authorized representative, may present and explain evidence that causes for debarment do not exist, evidence of any mitigating factors, and arguments concerning the imposition, scope, or duration of a proposed debarment or debarment.
(4) Fact-finding conference. The purpose of a fact-finding conference under this section is to provide the respondent an opportunity to dispute material facts through the submission of oral and written evidence; resolve facts in dispute; and provide the Debarring Official with findings of fact based, as applicable, on adequate evidence or on a preponderance of the evidence. The fact-finding conference shall be conducted in accordance with rules consistent with 48 CFR 9.406-3(b). The Fact-Finding Official will notify the affected parties of the schedule for the hearing. The Fact-Finding Official shall deliver written findings of fact to the Debarring Official (together with a transcription of the proceeding, if made) within a certain time period after the hearing record closes as specified by the Fact-Finding Official. The findings shall resolve any disputes over material facts based upon a preponderance of the evidence, if the case involves a proposal to debar, or on adequate evidence, if the case involves a suspension. Since convictions or civil judgments generally establish the cause for debarment by a preponderance of the evidence, there usually is no genuine dispute over a material fact that would warrant a fact-finding conference for those proposed debarments based on convictions or civil judgments.
(d) Debarring Official's decision. (4) The Debarring Official's final decision shall be based on the administrative record. In those actions where additional proceedings are necessary as to disputed material facts, written findings of fact shall be prepared and included in the final decision. In those cases where the contractor has requested and received a fact-finding conference, the written findings of fact shall be those findings prepared by the Fact-Finding Official. Findings of fact shall be final and conclusive unless, within 15 days of receipt of the findings, the Department or the respondent requests reconsideration, or unless set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Fact-Finding Official shall be provided a copy of the Debarring Official's final decision.