IBM suspension lifted

Originally posted at 8:31AM April 4; updated at 10:38AM April 4

(UPDATED) In an announcement this morning, IBM Corp. said that it reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to end the suspension order that barred the company from winning new federal government business.

The suspension had been in place a week. IBM can now chase new business with all federal agencies, the company said.

The suspension was put in place after an EPA debarring official received information that supported allegations that IBM employees had received source selection information from an EPA employee, according to the agreement that lifted the suspension. The document was signed Thursday by Robert Meunier, the EPA debarring official, and Richard Kaplan, vice president and assistant general counsel for IBM.

As part of the agreement, IBM has agreed to suspended five employees while the investigation continues, pull out of the procurement that sparked the controversy and pay EPA's costs involved with a protest of that contract.

IBM is cooperating with EPA's ongoing investigation and is conducting its own internal investigation, which it has agreed to share with the agency, according to the EPA document.

In its statement, IBM also said it is cooperating with a related investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The suspension by EPA had come as a surprise to IBM. Officials for the company said earlier that they had no warning that troubles were brewing.

In the agreement ending the suspension, EPA retains the right to suspend IBM again if more problems are discovered, but it also agreed to give IBM the opportunity to address the new issues before issuing the suspension.

The dust-up apparently involves a contract with EPA to modernize its financial management systems. Another company won the contract last year and IBM has filed a protest.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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