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
Is 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
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
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
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.
Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS)
Navy Marine Corps Acquisition Regulation
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)