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Every compliance professional should be familiar with the concept of present responsibility. Jay Rosen discusses the term and its place in suspensions and debarments.

Present responsibility has become sort of a buzzword. It’s the underlying basis for action involving excluding a party from the federal marketplace through suspension or department.

Unfortunately, the phrase itself is not defined anywhere in the regulatory structure. This means its determination comes down to the discretion of the federal officials who have been empowered to exercise the suspension and debarment authority.

Yet even with this lack of a statutory or regulator definition, there are some common factors and guidelines out there that can help the compliance community understand some of the elements of suspension and debarment as they relate to this issue.