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Hill Inquiry Pushes Sun to Quit GSA Schedule

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By Allan Holmes September 14, 2007

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Sun Microsystems Federal Inc., which has been the subject of a congressional inquiry into possible contracting abuses, plans to cancel its General Services Administration Multi-Award Schedule Contract by Oct. 12, according to an email sent by a public relations firm handling Sun Microsystems Federal.

According to the statement released by 463 Communications in Washington, D.C.:

We can confirm that Sun has notified the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) that it is canceling its current GSA Multi-Award Schedule Contract effective October 12, 2007. We took this step reluctantly, as we have always valued our relationship with GSA and its team of committed professionals. Sun and GSA have enjoyed a successful relationship as partners for a number of years during which Sun has provided government agencies with some of the industry's most innovative, energy-efficient, open source and secure computing systems.

Sun remains honored to be a federal contractor and, like other companies in our industry who do not have a GSA multi-award schedule, we look forward to continuing to serve our government customers.

Asked if the inquiry by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who has asked for documentation on how much Sun has charged the government for its products, was the reason for Sun's decision to cancel its GSA schedule, a spokesman initially said, "Yes, it is in relation," but added that he would provide a further statement later.

According to a Government Executive article on the subject:

The review involves a contract extension awarded to Sun in September by GSA. The contract has faced scrutiny partly because House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., called GSA Administrator Lurita Doan to testify about her alleged meddling during the business dealings.

At a March hearing, GSA Inspector General Brian Miller stated that Doan and her top staff intervened in negotiations with Sun, going against the judgment of three career contract officers and choosing a higher-priced offer from Sun.

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