(a) A recipient shall immediately suspend a DBE's certification without adhering to the requirements in § 26.87(d) of this part when an individual owner whose ownership and control of the firm are necessary to the firm's certification dies or is incarcerated.
(1) A recipient may immediately suspend a DBE's certification without adhering to the requirements in § 26.87(d) when there is adequate evidence to believe that there has been a material change in circumstances that may affect the eligibility of the DBE firm to remain certified, or when the DBE fails to notify the recipient or UCP in writing of any material change in circumstances as required by § 26.83(i) of this part or fails to timely file an affidavit of no change under § 26.83(j).
(2) In determining the adequacy of the evidence to issue a suspension under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the recipient shall consider all relevant factors, including how much information is available, the credibility of the information and allegations given the circumstances, whether or not important allegations are corroborated, and what inferences can reasonably be drawn as a result.
(c) The concerned operating administration may direct the recipient to take action pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) this section if it determines that information available to it is sufficient to warrant immediate suspension.
(d) When a firm is suspended pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, the recipient shall immediately notify the DBE of the suspension by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner(s) of the DBE.
(e) Suspension is a temporary status of ineligibility pending an expedited show cause hearing/proceeding under § 26.87 of this part to determine whether the DBE is eligible to participate in the program and consequently should be removed. The suspension takes effect when the DBE receives, or is deemed to have received, the Notice of Suspension.
(f) While suspended, the DBE may not be considered to meet a contract goal on a new contract, and any work it does on a contract received during the suspension shall not be counted toward a recipient's overall goal. The DBE may continue to perform under an existing contract executed before the DBE received a Notice of Suspension and may be counted toward the contract goal during the period of suspension as long as the DBE is performing a commercially useful function under the existing contract.
(g) Following receipt of the Notice of Suspension, if the DBE believes it is no longer eligible, it may voluntarily withdraw from the program, in which case no further action is required. If the DBE believes that its eligibility should be reinstated, it must provide to the recipient information demonstrating that the firm is eligible notwithstanding its changed circumstances. Within 30 days of receiving this information, the recipient must either lift the suspension and reinstate the firm's certification or commence a decertification action under § 26.87 of this part. If the recipient commences a decertification proceeding, the suspension remains in effect during the proceeding.
(h) The decision to immediately suspend a DBE under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section is not appealable to the US Department of Transportation. The failure of a recipient to either lift the suspension and reinstate the firm or commence a decertification proceeding, as required by paragraph (g) of this section, is appealable to the U.S. Department of Transportation under § 26.89 of this part, as a constructive decertification.
[79 FR 59599, Oct. 2, 2014]