Outside IG disputes Doan's interference claims

Claims that the General Services Administration's inspector general pressured GSA contracting officers during contract negotiations with Sun Microsystems are baseless, according to a report by the U.S. Postal Service's IG.


GSA IG Brian Miller asked the USPS IG to investigate after Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) had asked for a deeper investigation into the allegations. Former GSA Administrator Lurita Doan had accused Miller of intimidating agency officials during a long, public fight last year.


USPS IG David Williams said the Federal Acquisition Service, a GSA unit, "was dysfunctional during the period of our review: the contracting officers were grossly overextended, the management structure had virtually collapsed, and GSA leadership appeared to be signaling its employees to favor the commercial interests of certain large vendors."


Williams described his conclusions in a May 16 letter to Miller, which Miller forwarded to Grassley along with his own letter on May 19.


Doan apparently quickly agreed embraced the complaint of some top schedule vendors that the IG's oversight was an impediment to good business. Ironically, Williams found, four of the complaining contractors were later charged with making false claims in federal contracts.


Meanwhile, Doan apparently "uncritically applied the vendors' perspective to the Sun contract negotiations, despite strong evidence that Sun had long engaged in a pattern of misconduct." Sun and other companies were the target of a False Claims Act suit the Justice Department filed in April 2007, Williams noted.


Sun canceled its GSA schedule contract last year.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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