EPA lifts suspension of IBM

The Environmental Protection Agency has lifted its week-long suspension of IBM from government work. The agency's action came after the company agreed to withdraw its offer and protest of an $84 million EPA contract.

IBM also also placed on administrative leave five people suspended by EPA until the agency's investigation is completed, according to a document signed April 3 by EPA and IBM officials.

Effective immediately, agencies can again buy from the technology company.

The agency suspended the company because EPA’s debarment officials found evidence to support allegations that IBM employees obtained protected source selection information from an EPA employee. The company employees then used the information in negotiations to improve IBM's chances of winning a contract.

The $84 million contract was for a financial management modernization project, which EPA awarded to CGI Federal in February 2007. IBM had protested the award.

The IBM employees knew they had obtained the information improperly, the document stated.

IBM Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Richard Kaplan, who signed the document, agreed that IBM would reimburse EPA for the cost of investigating the alleged misconduct by company employees.

Kaplan agreed to cooperate fully with EPA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the document stated.

IBM also will commit to conducting a full examination of IBM Federal’s compliance program and fix the program where needed to comply with government regulations.

After the suspension, IBM launched an internal investigation of the allegations and met with EPA investigators and the agency's debarment counsel, the document stated.

IBM has encouraged the subpoenaed individuals to cooperate with the investigations, the document stated.

The agreement is effective until officials finish the investigations and any criminal proceedings, the document also stated.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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