No need for reform, EPA says

IBM Corp.'s short suspension by the
Environmental Protection Agency is still
reverberating through the government
market.

Although IBM is saying little because the
case is still under investigation, Robert
Meunier, EPA's debarring official and chairman
of the Interagency Suspension and
Debarment Committee, is shrugging off
calls for reform.

"Nothing is broken," he said.

The big complaint has been that IBM
had no warning that the company was
about to be suspended from pursuing new
work in the government market.

Meunier, in an interview with Washington
Technology's sister publication, Federal
Computer Week, said EPA remained silent
because it had to comply with a Justice
Department requirement. IBM was under
investigation, and a criminal indictment
was possible.

Still, in its agreement with IBM to lift
the suspension, EPA said it would give the
company notice before taking similar
action again.

The contract at the heart of the controversy
has been awarded to CGI Group, the
original winner. IBM withdrew its protest
as part of its agreement to get the suspension
lifted.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues
into the alleged passing of proprietary
information from EPA to IBM.

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