MicroTech's Jimenez fights back against Post attacks
Anthony Jimenez is fighting back against a series of Washington Post articles that have questioned his ethics and the business practices of his company, MicroTech.
One of the claims in the Post articles by Robert O’Harrow Jr. is that MicroTech misrepresented itself when it won a small business contract with the Veterans Affairs in 2006.
Jimenez disputes the authenticity of some of the documents O’Harrow includes with his article; O’Harrow claims one document is a cover sheet for the VA award to MicroTech.
However, Jimenez told me that he’s never seen that document, and it is not a cover sheet. It is not the correct form, and it was not signed by VA or by MicroTech officials.
In an email he sent me, Jimenez included the actual cover sheet and the request for quotes for the contract that O’Harrow is using as a centerpiece for his article. Jimenez is adamant that O’Harrow mischaracterized the contract as a small-business contract.
O’Harrow might be comparing apples and oranges [my words, not Jimenez’s] because VA counts the contract as a small business contract.
But the contract was competed as a full and open contract, so from Jimenez’s perspective, it was not a small business contract. But it’s OK for VA to claim the contract as a small business contract because MicroTech qualifies as a small business.
That, however, has nothing to do with any representations made by Jimenez and MicroTech because they won the contract in a full and open competition.
The Post article also makes a big deal about how 90 percent of the revenue is flowed through MicroTech to its partner, a reseller of Microsoft products. That’s not unusual, though, because it’s a contract for software. MicroTech doesn’t write software; they facilitate the purchase of the software by VA.
It’s a classic reseller arrangement. MicroTech has the relationship with the customer and the product, and revenue simply passes through the company.
O’Harrow also goes after a company called OBXTek, which was No. 1 on Washington Technology’s 2013 Fast 50, because MicroTech sold a small business contract to OBXTek that MicroTech had grown too large to keep.
Jimenez’s son and a former employee are owners of the company, but I’m not sure why that’s wrong.
Would it have been better for MicroTech to close down the contract and lay off the people who were working on it? Instead, it sold the contract to OBXTek, which in turned hired several MicroTech employees to continue support the contract.
To repeat what I wrote yesterday, I’m perplexed by the effort the Post has put into this story to paint Jimenez and MicroTech as bad guys, or worse--cheats and criminals.
There are legitimate policy questions that surround small business procurement practices, but that debate is poorly served by stories that come across as personal attacks.
The comments to my first blog on these series have been mixed, with some supporting Jimenez and others being very critical.
My favorite is one person who obviously doesn’t like the company or Jimenez.
The commenter wrote that he or she would never recommend MicroTech’s work, but “they didn’t break a single law, but the Post article implies they did and that is disgusting and bogus.”
In a way, that commenter sums up my feelings; by making this investigation all about MicroTech, the opportunity to foster a discussion about small business policies is lost.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM