Qwest added to Top 100 list

Error kept telecom firm off WT's annual ranking

Jim Payne is senior vice president of Qwest's Government Services Division.

WT file photo

Washington Technology has added Qwest Communications International Inc. to the publication's 2003 Top 100 list after re-examining the federal data it used to calculate the annual ranking of top contractors in the federal information technology market.

The examination showed that Qwest of Denver had $56.69 million in prime contracting revenue during the 12-month period under review. This puts the company at No. 90 on this year's list.

Washington Technology previously calculated Qwest's prime contracting revenue at about $22 million, well below the No. 100 company on the list, which had revenue of $49.26 million.

Washington Technology's annual ranking of federal prime contractors serves as a guide to the major players in the federal IT market. This year's Top 100 list was published May 12.

"Qwest clearly deserves the recognition that comes with being a Top 100 contractor," said Steve LeSueur, Washington Technology editor. "We sincerely regret the error."

The magazine will add Qwest to the online version of the Top 100 list. No companies will be removed, thus making it a Top 101 list.

The mistake occurred because Washington Technology and the two companies that compile the Top 100 list, market research firms Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., and Eagle Eye Inc. of Fairfax, Va., used incomplete information to calculate Qwest's federal revenue.

Federal procurement data do not always identify government contractors precisely by name. Consequently, FSI and Eagle Eye use the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers as the most accurate method for identifying a contractor.

Each government contractor may have dozens of DUNS numbers, each representing a different division or subsidiary of the company that is doing business with federal agencies. Large government contractors have more than 100 DUNS numbers.

To calculate the federal IT revenue for a particular contractor, FSI and Eagle Eye must identify all of the contractor's assigned DUNS numbers, then add up the revenue of each number.

Unfortunately, FSI and Eagle Eye had an incomplete list of Qwest's DUNS numbers. The full set of Qwest's DUNS numbers revealed the larger prime contracting figure.

LeSueur said that each year, following the publication of the Top 100, Washington Technology usually receives queries from two or three companies asking how the list is compiled. The federal data is publicly available, and FSI and Eagle Eye have willingly shown companies their methodology and taken another look at the numbers.

Washington Technology, FSI and Eagle Eye are taking steps to ensure that they have the complete list of DUNS numbers for all the companies in next year's Top 100 list, LeSueur said. *

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