Despite GSA ousting, MCI still sees itself a contender

Despite the General Services Administration's proposed debarment of WorldCom Inc. from future government work, the company remains optimistic about its future in the federal space, said MCI spokeswoman Natasha Haubold.

Haubold said WorldCom can still bid for select federal contracts. The terms of the proposed debarment stipulate that agencies may not consider bids from the company unless there is some compelling reason to do so, therefore the company can bid on those contracts that it is uniquely qualified to execute.

"We will continue to bid on government contracts," Haubold said. "We anticipate we will not win some government contracts, but we will continue to be a contender in the marketplace."

On July 31, GSA proposed barring WorldCom from pursuing future federal contracts, stating concerns that the company lacked the necessary internal controls and business ethics to meet federal standards of conduct for contractors. The Ashburn, Va.-based company has 30 days to challenge the decision.

Haubold said that the company is taking measures to meet the standards set by GSA.

"We are accepting GSA's concerns and working to address those very quickly," Haubold said. The company is putting all 55,000 employees under ethics training and is hiring an additional 400 people to tighten its accounting controls.

The company's government unit also will continue to serve its existing client base. GSA has estimated that MCI WorldCom is doing an estimated $700 million to $1 billion in federal business for fiscal 2003.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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