(a) In any case in which an agency’s remedy coordination official finds substantial evidence that a contractor’s request for advance, partial, or progress payments under a contract awarded by that agency is based on fraud, the remedy coordination official shall recommend that the agency head reduce or suspend further payments to the contractor. The remedy coordination official shall submit to the agency head a written report setting forth the remedy coordination official’s findings that support each recommendation.
(b) Upon receiving a recommendation from the remedy coordination official under paragraph (a) of this subsection, the agency head shall determine whether substantial evidence exists that the request for payment under a contract is based on fraud.
(c) If the agency head determines that substantial evidence exists, the agency head may reduce or suspend further payments to the contractor under the affected contract(s). Such reduction or suspension shall be reasonably commensurate with the anticipated loss to the Government resulting from the fraud.
(d) In determining whether to reduce or suspend further payment(s), as a minimum, the agency head shall consider-
(1) A recommendation from investigating officers that disclosure of the allegations of fraud to the contractor may compromise an ongoing investigation;
(2) The anticipated loss to the Government as a result of the fraud;
(3) The contractor’s overall financial condition and ability to continue performance if payments are reduced or suspended;
(4) The contractor’s essentiality to the national defense, or to the execution of the agency’s official business; and
(5) Assessment of all documentation concerning the alleged fraud, including documentation submitted by the contractor in its response to the notice required by paragraph (e) of this subsection.
(e) Before making a decision to reduce or suspend further payments, the agency head shall, in accordance with agency procedures-
(1) Notify the contractor in writing of the action proposed by the remedy coordination official and the reasons therefor (such notice must be sufficiently specific to permit the contractor to collect and present evidence addressing the aforesaid reasons); and
(2) Provide the contractor an opportunity to submit information within a reasonable time, in response to the action proposed by the remedy coordination official.
(f) When more than one agency has contracts affected by the fraud, the agencies shall consider designating one agency as the lead agency for making the determination and decision.
(g) The agency shall retain in its files the written justification for each-
(1) Decision of the agency head whether to reduce or suspend further payments; and
(2) Recommendation received by an agency head in connection with such decision.
(h) Not later than 180 calendar days after the date of the reduction or suspension action, the remedy coordination official shall-
(1) Review the agency head’s determination on which the reduction or suspension decision is based; and
(2) Transmit a recommendation to the agency head as to whether the reduction or suspension should continue.