(a) Grounds to suspend financial assistance without advance notice. The responsible HHS official may suspend financial assistance, in whole or in part, without prior notice and an opportunity to show cause if there is an emergency situation, such as a serious risk for substantial injury to property or loss of project funds, a federal, state, or local criminal statute violation, or harm to staff or participants’ health and safety.
(b) Emergency suspension notification requirements. (1) The emergency suspension notification must:
(i) Specify the grounds for the suspension;
(ii) Include terms and conditions of any full or partial suspension;
(iii) Inform that grantee it cannot make or incur any new expenditures or obligations under suspended portion of the program; and,
(iv) Advise that within five days after the emergency suspension becomes effective, the grantee may request, in writing, an informal meeting with the responsible HHS official to show why the basis for the suspension was not valid and should be rescinded and that the grantee has corrected any deficiencies.
(2) The responsible HHS official must promptly transmit the emergency suspension notification to the grantee that shows the date of receipt. The emergency suspension becomes effective upon delivery of the notification or upon the date the grantee refuses delivery, or upon return of the notification unclaimed.
(3) Within two workdays after the grantee receives the emergency suspension notification, the grantee must send a copy of the notice to delegate agencies affected by the suspension.
(4) The responsible HHS official must inform affected delegate agencies that they have the right to participate in the informal meeting.
(c) Opportunity to show cause. If the grantee requests an informal meeting, the responsible HHS official must schedule a meeting within five workdays after it receives the grantee’s request. The suspension will continue until the grantee has been afforded such opportunity and until the responsible HHS official renders a decision. Notwithstanding provisions in this section, the responsible HHS official may proceed to deny refunding or to initiate termination proceedings at any time even though the grantee’s financial assistance has been suspended in whole or in part.
(d) Decision. (1) The responsible HHS official will consider any written material presented before or during the informal meeting, as well as any proof the grantee has adequately corrected what led to suspension, and render a decision within five work days after the informal meeting.
(2) If the responsible HHS official finds the grantee failed to show cause why suspension should be rescinded, the responsible HHS official may continue the suspension, in whole or in part, and under the terms and conditions specified in the emergency suspension notification.
(3) A suspension must not exceed 30 days, unless the conditions under section 646(a)(5)(B) are applicable or the grantee requests the suspension to continue for an additional period of time and the responsible HHS official agrees.
(4) The responsible HHS official may appoint an agency to serve as an interim grantee to operate the program until either the grantee’s emergency suspension is lifted or a new grantee is selected.
(e) Obligations incurred during suspension. Any new obligations the grantee incurs during the suspension period will not be allowed unless the responsible HHS official expressly authorizes them in the suspension notice or in an amendment to the suspension notice. Necessary and otherwise allowable costs which the grantee could not reasonably avoid during the suspension period will be allowed if those costs result from obligations properly incurred before suspension and not in anticipation of suspension, denial of refunding or termination. The responsible HHS official may allow third-party in-kind contributions applicable to the suspension period to satisfy cost sharing or matching requirements.
(f) Modify or rescind suspension. The responsible HHS official may modify or rescind suspension at any time, if the grantee can satisfactorily show that is has adequately corrected what led to the suspension and that it will not repeat such actions or inactions. Nothing in this section precludes the HHS official from imposing suspension again for additional 30 day periods if the cause of the suspension has not been corrected.