Grassley asks Sun to give contract info to GSA IG

Sen. Grassley's letter to Sun Microsystems

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Sun Microsystems is not cooperating with the General Services Administration Inspector General Office as it attempts to conduct an audit on its government contract that Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) requested in June, Grassley said.

In a July 24 letter to Scott McNealy, Sun’s chairman, Grassley asked the company to immediately comply with its contract with GSA and give the IG the requested information. Grassley wrote that he was surprised to find that Sun indicated to GSA that it does not have to report the requested data under the contract’s terms.

The dispute arose after GSA re-awarded a contract to Sun after the company did not give the government the pricing information and similar discounts it gave other customers.

The price-reduction clause has been a dispute between the government and Sun for some time now, a person familiar with the situation said.

In a statement today Sun said it is cooperating, but the IG has prejudged its GSA contract and has objected to the IG’s participation in the process.

“The company has filed a formal complaint with the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency, because the inspector general’s office is on record as prejudging whether our current contract is a good deal for the taxpayer,” Sun said.

The company said it has offered to participate in a neutral audit. It also has been working with GSA on the scope of an independent audit, which covers the items the senator has requested. Sun is assembling information in response to a GSA contracting officer’s request and will begin delivering more than 25,000 pages of documents later this week, according to the statement.

“It is interesting that Sun would suggest this data is not covered under the contract’s examination of records clause,” Grassley wrote. “If this data is inappropriate for these audits, then what good will it be to have an independent firm audit that same data?”

“Inaction, excuses and delaying tactics are no longer acceptable and will certainly reflect badly on how your company does business with the federal government,” he wrote.

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