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HUD OIG conducted an evaluation of HUD's Departmental Enforcement Center (DEC), specifically, the Compliance Division. We wanted to know whether DEC processed suspension and debarment referrals in a timely manner. We also wanted to identify ways to improve case management for suspensions and debarments. Between October 1, 2006, and December 9, 2009, the Compliance Division received a total of 978 suspension and/or debarment referrals (cases) from HUD OIG, various HUD program offices, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Review of 62 cases disclosed that suspension and debarment referrals were not processed in a timely manner and federal requirements for entry of suspended or debarred individuals or entities were not met. Delays in the processing of suspension and debarment actions and late entry of information on excluded individuals or entities into the Excluded Parties List System ultimately places HUD and other Federal agencies at an increased risk of awarding contracts, grants, and other subsidies to unethical, dishonest, and irresponsible parties. Further, DEC's record keeping system for suspensions and debarments needs improvement.

To improve the effectiveness of HUD's administrative sanctions program, steps must be taken by DEC to ensure that suspension and debarment actions are processed consistently and in a timely manner. These steps include development of formalized written policies and procedures for the Compliance Division and department wide guidance. Also, a uniform record keeping system that provides for a complete historical record of the suspension and debarment process should be established.