GSA examining Qwest contracts

The General Services Administration on July 11 announced it is conducting a review of all of Qwest Communications International Inc.'s government contracts to determine whether to bar the company from future federal contracts.

The GSA general counsel's office is reviewing Qwest's "present responsibility," which checks the company's financial resources, ability to meet contract schedules, record of integrity and business ethics, and accounting and operational controls.

Qwest currently holds multiple local telecommunications contracts through GSA, is offering Web services through GSA's long-distance contract, and holds several high-performance networking contracts, including the $25 million NASA Research and Engineering Network.

GSA announced a similar review of WorldCom Inc. on July 2 following that company's disclosure of accounting practices that resulted in nearly $4 billion being falsely reported as revenue during the past year.

In the past few months, Qwest has faced a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into its accounting practices, and this week, the U.S. Attorney's office confirmed that it also is investigating the company.

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