U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) recently forwarded correspondence to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) personnel, encouraging the agency to use authority to ban corporations committing misconduct from government contracting.
Warren and Luján sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco regarding the matter, noting the DOJ possesses underutilized authority enabling the ability to bar an individual or company from contracting with the government for a certain period of time.
Entities can be debarred for a wide range of misconduct, including misconduct falling outside of a company’s contracting activities with the government.
“We cannot allow these corporate entities to continue to engage in criminal misconduct and get by with a mere slap on the wrist,” Warren said. “The Department of Justice can and should expand its use of these suspension and debarment authorities to protect the use of government resources and discourage recidivism by big business.”
The senators are urging the DOJ to use debarment authority for corporate entities, not just individuals; use debarment government-wide; use suspension authority; and consider debarment for all corporate misconduct.
“No one is above the law,” Luján said. “Corporate criminals must be held accountable, and it’s critical that the Justice Department utilizes its authority to ensure that no one can abuse public trust. Along with Sen. Warren, I’m calling on the Justice Department to use its debarment power and put an end to corporations taking advantage of the government.”