Matters in Opposition (MIO) - Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE:  This list of questions and answers is merely an attempt to summarize the applicable standards to a suspension or debarment action. It is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the Department of the Navy, its operating administrations, its officers, or any persons.  In determining the applicability of, and rights under, any suspension or debarment, refer to the applicable regulations


Why did I receive a Notice of Administrative Action (Suspension, Proposed Debarment, Debarment or Show Cause Letter)?

The purpose of the suspension and debarment system is to protect the Government from doing business with non-responsible contractors.  The Department of the Navy may have a concern about contractors who appear to have engaged in misconduct or have a record of poor performance.  Administrative actions are intended to be remedial in nature, which means they are not considered punishment.  A contractor that has been suspended, proposed for debarment, or debarred, may not do business with the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.  The Suspending and Debarring Official (SDO) is authorized to assess a contractor’s present responsibility and to take administrative action against individuals and/or entities for the protection of the Government.

What are Matters in Opposition?

Matters in Opposition (MIO) are an opportunity for you to respond to the proposed administrative action.  This is your chance to present whatever information you think the SDO should consider, including explanations, mitigating factors, and any remedial actions you have taken.

How do I present my MIO?

MIOs may be presented in writing and/or in person.  Written submissions must be addressed directly to the SDO.  In addition to the written submission, you may request an in-person presentation with the SDO.  An in-person presentation provides you with an opportunity to appear before the SDO and present the information and argument that you think the SDO should consider.

s a written or in-person MIO required?

No; a written submission and/or in-person presentation is not required.  These procedures are intended to afford you an opportunity to respond to the proposed action.  If no written submission and/or in-person presentation occurs, the SDO will render a decision based upon the existing record.

Do I need an attorney?

No; you may have an attorney or representative, but it is not required.  You may represent yourself directly to the SDO in writing, in person, or both.

How do I request an in-person presentation?

You may request an in-person presentation in writing concurrently with your written submission to the Notice of Administrative Action (Notice).  In-person presentations will generally not be scheduled until the deadline for MIO responses has expired.  Your written submission to the Notice must be received by the Acquisition Integrity Office (AIO) within thirty calendar days of your receipt of the Notice and may be submitted via email or postal mail.  Electronic submission of material by email is encouraged, provided you receive confirmation from the AIO, generally from the AIO point of contact (POC) assigned to your matter and identified in the Notice.

What if I need more time?

You may request an extension of time to respond to a Notice within thirty calendar days of the date you receive the Notice.  You must submit the request for an extension in writing, explaining the reasons why you need an extension.  This request should be made to the assigned AIO POC and may be made by email.

When should I submit documentation supporting my MIO?

You should include all information and arguments you intend to rely upon with your written submission.  For in-person meetings, any presentation material must be received by the assigned AIO POC at least five working days in advance of the in-person presentation.

What if my electronic files are large?

Electronic messages submitted to the AIO are subject to a 10 MB size limitation.  If you anticipate the need to submit electronic files greater than 10 MB, you must first contact the assigned AIO POC to make arrangements for alternate delivery of files greater than 10 MB.  NOTE:  It is your duty to ensure the timely submission of documentation to the AIO.  Under no circumstance will your failure to make timely arrangements for the submission of electronic files larger than 10 MB establish a cause for either waiving or extending your submission deadline.

Where are MIO in-person presentations held?

Generally, MIO in-person presentations are held at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.  To enter the Washington Navy Yard, visitors must have a Department of Defense Common Access Card or an Active Military, Retired Military, or a Military Dependent ID.  Otherwise, an escort with one of these credentials must meet you at the Visitor Access Center, where you will receive a visitor’s pass, and escort you to AIO.  All visitors 18 and older must have a photo I.D.  Please allow plenty of time to go through security and for parking.  NOTE:  Base security protocol is subject to change without notice.

Directions to the Washington Navy Yard can be found HERE.

Access procedures for the Washington Navy Yard can be found HERE

NOTE:  Base security protocol is subject to change without notice.  You should confirm current installation access procedures prior to your in-person MIO.


Can I request an MIO presentation by VTC/Telephone?

The FAR indicates that MIOs may be submitted either “in writing” or “in person.”  Exceptions to the submission methods detailed in the FAR are at the discretion of the SDO and should be submitted to the assigned AIO POC.

Are the materials I submit to AIO subject to public release?

Any materials provided in your MIO response will be incorporated into the administrative record.  They are therefore subject to release to third parties under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Materials that you consider to be proprietary or otherwise restricted from release under any exemption to the FOIA should be marked as such.  To the extent permitted by law, these materials will be protected from release.

When can I expect a determination?

Once the MIO in-person presentation is concluded, the SDO will consider the entire administrative record, including your MIO, and will make a written determination as to your present responsibility.



Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)

 Navy Marine Corps Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NMCARS)

 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Additional Resources