Integrator CGI Faces Court Threat

Federal systems integrator CGI Group Inc. could be facing charges of conflict of interest in a $400 million (Canadian) contract it won from Public Works and Government Services of Canada, according to an article in the Ottawa Sun newspaper.

CGI has dozens of contracts with state and local governments in the United States, as well as U.S. federal agencies, including the General Services Administration, which hired CGI to build and maintain its Pegasys system, which integrates more than 4,000 users nationwide and processes more than 40 million transactions annually, according to CGI's 2006 annual report.

TPG Technology Consulting, based in Ottawa, has asked the Public Sector Integrity Office in Canada to investigate the computer support contract because Canadian Public Works Minister Michael Fortier had worked for CGI as the primary investment banker to sell a $330 million CGI stock offering in 2004. At the time, Fortier headed up the Montreal office of Credit Suisse.

Fortier denies any conflict of interest and argues he and his staff do not award Public Works contracts.

Nevertheless, "TPG president Don Powell says his firm ... was the low bidder for the support work," according to the article. "He maintains that public servants involved in the process told him that the technical evaluations were “very close.” TGP vows to take the case to court to stop work on the contract.