(1) The division has the authority to temporarily suspend a vendor from consideration for further contracts with the state if the division has probable cause to believe that the vendor has engaged in activities that could lead to debarment from contract eligibility. The causes for debarment include the following:
(a) submission of a false affidavit for Montana residency;
(b) vendor is not responsible or responsive as defined in 18-4-301, MCA, and ARM 2.5.201 and 2.5.407;
(c) deliberate failure, without good cause, to perform in accordance with the specifications or within the time limit provided in a contract;
(d) a recent record of failure to perform or of unsatisfactory performance in accordance with the terms of one or more contracts;
(e) failure to comply with the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Law, Title 39, chapter 51, MCA;
(f) failure to comply with the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, Title 39, chapter 71, MCA; or
(g) any other cause that the division determines to be so serious and compelling as to affect responsibility as a state contractor, including debarment by another governmental entity.
(2) Debarment may apply to either a firm or an individual.
(a) In the case of a firm, it may be applied against any or all businesses in which a firm has involvement or over which it has ownership or control.
(b) In the case of an individual, debarment may be applied to and enforced against any and all businesses in which the individual has any level of interest, ownership, or control.
(3) If there is probable cause to believe that any of the situations in (1) exist, the division shall mail a notice of suspension to the affected vendor or individual. The notice must state that:
(a) the suspension is for the period it takes to complete an investigation into possible debarment;
(b) bids or proposals will not be accepted from the suspended vendor or contracts awarded to the suspended vendor during the period of suspension; and
(c) the suspension is effective upon the date of issuance of the notice of suspension and, unless the suspension is terminated by the division or a court, remains in effect for a period not to exceed 90 calendar days.
(4) If the division's investigation confirms a cause for debarment and the director agrees with the division's determination, a notice will be served upon the vendor by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice will include:
(a) the pertinent facts supporting the alleged cause for debarment and the division's intent to remove the vendor from eligibility to contract with the state;
(b) notification of the vendor's right to a contested case hearing on the matter in accordance with the procedures set forth in Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, MCA; and
(c) the term of the debarment and to what extent affiliates are affected. The debarment will be for a specific period of time or until certain conditions are met, at the discretion of the division.
(5) A written request for hearing must be received by the director from the vendor within 20 calendar days after the date of the mailing of the notice of debarment. Failure to timely request a hearing will constitute a waiver by the vendor of the opportunity for a contested case hearing and appeal and will result in the director or director's designee entering an order supporting the vendor's debarment.
(6) Upon timely receipt of a written request for a contested case hearing, the director shall appoint a hearing examiner in accordance with the procedures set forth in Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, MCA, to hear evidence in the matter and come to a determination as to whether the facts support the decision to debar the vendor.
(7) The division shall maintain a list of debarred vendors on its web site at https://emacs.mt.gov/DebarredSuspendedVendors