GSA clears Qwest

Officials have determined that Qwest Communications should remain eligible for federal contracts. The decision follows a review that stemmed from 2001 allegations that Qwest officials had overstated company revenues.

Joseph Neurauter, the suspension and debarment official at the General Services Administration, notified Qwest officials of the finding in a Feb. 22 letter.

The allegations primarily concerned Qwest's contract with the Arizona School Facilities Board. In 2003, when GSA officials began their review, Qwest officials said the four employees implicated in the matter were no longer with the company. In 2003, GSA's inspector general recommended that Neurauter suspend the company and eight individuals -- seven former Qwest employees and one who was then a current employee.

After his review, Neurauter concluded that Qwest officials had taken appropriate action, including the institution of an ethics program and changes in management, to remove any need for suspension or debarment, he said in his letter to Richard Notebaert, Qwest's chief executive officer.

GSA officials did not suspend the company from federal business during the review period, and Qwest continued to get new contracts.

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