FY2014 Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee Report: The Numbers Part 2
Last week we discussed the FY2014 Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee Report released in April, and discussed how the data in that report is compiled. This week we are breaking down the numbers in the report. FY 2014 saw an increase in overall numbers of suspensions, proposed debarments, and debarments. There was 5,179 total actions in FY 2014, up from 4,842 in FY 2013, an increase of approximately 7%. Primarily there was an increase in actions from civilian agencies, which indicates that civilian agencies are starting to build more active programs. More active programs means that the trend of increased activity should continue. The civilian agencies with the largest jump in actions were: Departments of Housing and Urban Development (24%) and Treasury (90%). Additionally, in the Department of Defense, the Navy also had a 29% increase in actions. Based on this report, it seems likely that the Department of Defense will continue at the same level and we will continue to see moderate increases in the civilian agencies.
One of the other wrinkles of the numbers in the ISDC report was the number of declinations that occurred this year. In FY 2013, Government-wide there were 154 declinations. In FY 2014, there were 315 declinations for an increase of 51%. The Department of Housing and Urban Development accounted for 74% of the 315 declinations. A declination means a case that was referred to the SDO that eventually the SDO determined not to pursue. Seeing this many declinations is both a positive and a negative. On the positive side, first, it means that investigative divisions of agencies are taking referring cases to SDOs seriously. This means SDOs are likely seeing the majority of the misconduct they should be seeing. Second, it means that SDOs are evaluating whether or not a case qualifies for action rather than automatically approving anything that is referred. On the negative side, it could potentially mean that investigative agencies are not sure what types of cases should and should not be referred to the SDO or what type of evidence is required to sustain an action. However, over time, this likely will correct itself.