SBA lifts MicroTech suspension
Is MicroTech's nightmare over? Kind of.
The company is back at work now that the Small Business Administration has lifted its suspension, but CEO Tony Jimenez isn’t. Part of the deal to let MicroTech get back to selling goods and services to the government is that Jimenez must take a 30-day suspension from his own company.
The company also faces the task of rebuilding its reputation.
In the administrative agreement with SBA, MicroTech admits no wrongdoing, and SBA doesn't exactly say they are guilty of anything either.
Both SBA and MicroTech agree that the company's application in 2005 to join the 8(a) program didn’t accurately describe the relationship between MicroTech, MicroLink and GovWare. The companies shared investors, which is apparently what bothered SBA.
Repeatedly in the agreement, MicroTech is quoted as affirming that its connection with those two companies didn't run afoul of any SBA regulations. And SBA seems to agree.
It is prohibiting MicroTech from entering into mentor-protégé agreements, teaming agreements and joint ventures with 8(a) companies while the agreement is in place.
The agreement is for three years but will be reviewed annually.
The company also will have to create an ethics program and hire an outside company to evaluate the program.
While I haven’t talked to Jimenez since the debarment in December, we talked in the immediate aftermath of a Washington Post series of stories exploring how the company used small business programs to grow. In our conversations, he has been adamant that neither he nor his company has done anything wrong.
I’ve questioned the Washington Post’s pursuit of Jimenez, and how the SBA process suspends a company and threatens its viability as a business without much due process. That still is a bit puzzling to me, but that's how the system works.
The whole thing still doesn't make sense to me. Where's the smoking gun? Where's the corruption? Let me know what I've missed.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:23 AM