IBM escapes US government blacklist

A rapid u-turn by US Environmental Protection Agency has lifted a week-old suspension of IBM from new government IT work.

Share

A rapid u-turn by US Environmental Protection Agency has lifted a week-old suspension of IBM from new government IT work.

But IBM still faces an investigation by the EPA as well as a federal grand jury probe over a bid for a contract at the agency in 2006.

The EPA's decision to end the temporary suspension came without explanation and was announced separately by IBM and the US General Services Administration , which oversees federal contracts and maintains a list of contractors that are excluded from government work.

But IBM's problems may not be over. After the EPA put IBM on a list of excluded contractors on 27 March 27, the vendor disclosed that the agency was investigating a March 2006 contract bid for possible violations of federal procurement integrity rules.

In addition, IBM said that the US attorney's office in Virginia had launched a grand jury probe focusing on "interactions between employees" of the company and the EPA.

IBM said that both of those investigations are ongoing, and reiterated that it is cooperating with the EPA and the U.S. attorney's office.

A US General Services Administration spokesman said that suspensions of potential contractors are "not punitive" in nature but instead are "a prophylactic measure designed to protect the government."

IBM is a major government contractor. According to USAspending.gov , a government Web site that provides information about federal contracts, the company received $1.4 billion (£700m) worth of contracts from a range of government agencies in the financial year ending September 2007.

Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs