Robert F. Meunier
CEO and General Counsel
Debarment Solutions Institute, LLC
Robert Meunier (Bob) is the owner, CEO and General Counsel of Debarment Solutions Institute, LLC (DSI).
Bob’s vision and purpose for creating DSI was, and is, to provide authentic interpretation and reliable guidance to the business, non-profit, government and legal communities regarding all aspects of the Federal Suspension and Debarment Program. DSI does not serve as legal representative for any individual or company in a federal debarment or suspension proceeding. It provides objective, fair and informed interpretation of rules, regulations, policies and procedures, and suggests options for restoring good business relationships between the government and its contractors and assistance participants that have been fractured because of various criminal, civil, contractual and administrative concerns. It does this through its training, consulting, evaluation and independent monitoring services.
During his 32 years of federal service, Bob participated in almost every important activity leading to the development and implementation of a comprehensive and uniform government-wide federal suspension and debarment system. As Chair of the Office of Management and Budget's Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (ISDC), Bob coordinated the suspension and debarment activities of all federal Executive Branch departments and agencies, both civilian and military, for contracts, assistance, loans and other benefits. He was the committee’s initial Chairman and served in that capacity continuously for over 20 years until his retirement in October of 2008. As ISDC Chair, he authored, coordinated, reviewed and approved regulations; testified before Congress; coordinated and commented on legislative initiatives; participated in Senate and House oversight reviews; authored Executive orders, OMB guidelines and common rules; and led the effort to build an advisory team to develop best practices in the field of suspension and debarment law among federal agencies. Importantly, his position as Chairman enabled him to work with every debarment and suspension program in the federal government and to become familiar not only the official statutory and regulatory aspects of those programs, but also with the many informal, unpublished and individual practices of the various agencies that guide the decisions of federal suspending and debarring officials.
Bob also developed, authored instituted the National Suspension and Debarment Training Program for federal agents, auditors and prosecutors at the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. As lead instructor for the course, he trained Federal agents and other government officials in the use of suspension and debarment sanctions during the course of a federal investigation and prosecution of legal actions. He also taught suspension and debarment in the basic and advanced Procurement Fraud Investigations and Grant Fraud Investigations Training Programs at the Inspector General Academy. He brings particular knowledge of the complex issues related to, and options for handling, suspension and debarment matters in the context of the parallel proceedings.
Bob’s lecture experience includes many guest speaking engagements for the American Law Institute of the American Bar Association; the Inspector General Academy; the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General School; the George Washington University Graduate Law Degree in Federal Procurement Law Program; and specialized training programs developed for the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center; the Department of Interior, the National Science Foundation, the Agency for International Development, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce and the Director of National Intelligence.
Early in his federal career, Bob served as an attorney in the EPA Office of Mobile Source Enforcement investigating and presenting cases to enforce the anti-tampering provisions of the Clean Air Act. He also participated in on-site reviews of oil refineries’ transition away from lead-based fuel additives during the nation's lead phase down initiative. He later moved to the Office of Administration and Resources Management where he authored EPA’s first debarment rules for grants and assistance programs. He served five years as the debarment hearing official, seven years as the Director of the Suspension and Debarment Division, and 13 years as the EPA Suspending and Debarring Official for contracts, subcontracts, assistance loans and benefits, and for statutory facility debarments for environmental crimes under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. He also participated in the Department of Justice’s National Procurement Fraud Task Force.
Bob is a contributing author to the ABA’s Practitioner's Guide to Suspension and Debarment, 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions, and is currently involved in the effort to issue the 4th edition. He is a co-author of the 1988 Government-wide Common Rule for Non-Procurement Suspension and Debarment; primary author of the 2003 revised common rule; and author of The History of the EPA Suspension and Debarment Program.
Bob is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Section, and Co-Chair of the Suspension and Debarment Committee. Bob received his undergraduate education at the United States Naval Academy and the University of Rhode Island, and his law degree from George Mason University. He is a long-time resident of Arlington Virginia.