(a) Investigation and referral.
(1) When a contracting officer becomes aware of possible irregularities or any information which may be sufficient cause for suspension, the contracting officer must first submit a complete statement of facts (including a copy of any criminal indictments, if applicable) and a recommendation for action to the Head of the Contracting Activity. If the contracting officer's statement of facts indicates misconduct on the part of the contractor in regard to an NRC contract, the Head of the Contracting Activity will refer the matter of misconduct to the Inspector General to determine if an investigation is required prior to referring the case to the suspension official.
(2) To the extent the Head of the Contracting Activity believes that sufficient grounds for debarment exist, independent of any pending investigation by the Inspector General, the Head of the Contracting Activity shall immediately forward the case, without reference to any pending investigation, and a recommendation for action to the Senior Procurement Executive for review. In such circumstances, the Head of the Contracting Activity will take no additional action in regard to a specific matter of misconduct referred to the Inspector General prior to consulting with the Inspector General.
(b) Decision-making process. If, after reviewing the recommendations and consulting with the Office of the General Counsel, and if appropriate, the Office of the Inspector General, the suspending official determines suspension is justified, the suspending official shall initiate the proposed suspension in accordance with FAR 9.407-3(b)(2). The contractor shall be given the opportunity to appear at an informal hearing, similar in nature to the hearing for debarments as discussed in FAR 9.406-3(b)(2). If the contractor fails to submit a timely written response within 30 days after receipt of the notice in accordance with FAR 9.407-3(c)(5), the suspending official may notify the contractor in accordance with FAR 9.407-3(d) that the contractor is suspended.