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The Community's Take: IBM Suspension

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By Allan Holmes April 1, 2008

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The following are quotes from experts in the federal information technology community about the suspension of International Business Machines Corp. from any new federal contract.

"You don't see this very often, particularly for large companies. This happens with small companies more frequently. But IBM -- wow."

Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer for FedSources, quoted by Nextgov.

"We are going to cooperate with investigators but we are also going to take all appropriate actions to challenge the scope of this action."

Fred McNeese, IBM spokesman, in a telephone interview with Reuters.

"It is rare for entire companies to be suspended. Suspending operating units of large companies is less rare and for smaller companies where all operations in one place we see an entire company suspended more often. I am hoping there was a lot of communication between EPA and IBM. I have the impression that there was not which would be unusual."

Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and general counsel for the Professional Services Council, quoted by Federal News Radio.

"A suspension is normally not assessed unless there is a very serious infraction that has been not only alleged but documented. The EPA move is "very unusual" and "it has enormous ramifications."

Stan Soloway, who heads the Professional Services Council, a trade group representing IBM and other government contractors, quoted by the Associated Press.

"The U.S. government contributes only 2 percent of IBM’s total revenue, roughly half of which comes from existing multi-year contracts that are not expected to be affected by the suspension, according to Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner."

FP Trading Post article.

"Just 0.2 percent [of the companies debarred from government contracting] share IBM's 'Suspension by any federal agency pursuant to Executive Order 12549 and the agency implementing regulations based on an indictment or other adequate evidence (a) to suspect the commission of an offense that is a cause for debarment or (b) that other causes for debarment under the agency regulations may exist.'"

Melissa Smith, INPUT blog

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