The former government contractor who was busted for hacking into a non-federal competitor’s network is back.
Ariel Friedler, the founder and former CEO of Symplicity Corp. — a government contractor who had run FedBizOpps.gov and other contracting platforms for much of the 2000s — won a significant suspension and debarment decision in the Washington D.C. District Court.
The court ruled that the General Services Administration (GSA) unfairly debarred Friedler in 2015 because GSA did not give him notice of all of the grounds for his debarment and an opportunity to respond to each of them prior to the agency’s final debarment determination.
The court ruled that GSA “relied on Friedler’s alleged post-conviction conduct in reaching the conclusion that he should be debarred but failed to notify him of these purported violations — a failure that is unquestionably improper under the applicable provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. And because this court cannot reasonably find that [GSA] would have debarred Friedler on the basis of his criminal conviction alone, the court cannot conclude that the agency’s error in relying on the two additional grounds without providing notice was harmless.”