June 18, 2019
FTA Debars Former Supply Chain Manager at Illinois Locomotive Manufacturer
On June 18, 2019, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) debarred Velda Berryman from participation in Federal procurement and nonprocurement programs for a period of 5 years, retroactive to June 30, 2017.
FTA previously suspended Berryman from June 30, 2017, to June 29, 2018, and referred allegations that she had committed fraud to DOT-OIG for investigation. Based on the results of the investigation, FTA re-suspended Berryman and ultimate debarred her. Her debarment will expire on June 29, 2022.
Berryman was the integrated supply chain manager at Progress Rail Locomotive, Inc. (Progress Rail) in LaGrange, Illinois, where she was responsible for the company's certification as a Transit Vehicle Manufacturer (TVM) and its participation in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. The investigation confirmed that, in or around April or May 2017, she fabricated emails or letters to suggest they were from an FTA equal employment opportunity specialist and falsely stated that FTA had certified Progress Rail as a TVM, which would make it eligible to bid on FTA-assisted contracts. Berryman showed the fabricated correspondence to officials at Progress Rail, FTA, and the Chicago-based Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Metra).
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time, and the System for Award Management should be consulted to find out whether an entity is currently excluded.