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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

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

Reader Comments

Fri, Dec 27, 2013

Nick,although Mr. O'Harrow may have seemed like he was reaching, as a former employee the Post articles were and are correct. Many current and former employees that were cheated were sources I suspect. First if you are taking money from a large business and setting up an 8(a) to act as a front to access government contracts that is wrong. Tony should pay the price and sounds to me like he cheated the wrong person this time. I am here to tell some of you that seem to be shocked the truth will come out the agreements may be printed and the illegal actions will be confirmed. Keep watching this is not a witch hunt.

Fri, Dec 27, 2013

O'Harrow did the same thing to GTSI. He is a master at making assumptions seem as if they were facts….

Thu, Nov 21, 2013

I haven't seen the last article. If there is nothing more than the first two contain you have to wonder if Mr. O'Harrow is new to town. Wow, a $1.6M house, shocking. Tony was assigned to the area at a time when he probably made a good profit on his previous home. He is a successful business man so why in heck shouldn't he buy a nice house. The author made so much of the multimedia system in his home. If he were taking full advantage of the law (not breaking it), the company would have retained it, fully depreciated it and sold it to Tony for $1. The way the company/Tony handled it is probably the most conservation, lest beneficial to Tony method possible. This situation with GovWare did raise questions for me, but Tony's account of events is plausible. Bottom line, this is the type of reporting I expect from the Post which is why I'm not a subscriber. It is poor, unprofessional journalism and seems to be inspired by an author vendetta or by the sour grapes of the competitors that Tony has bested.

Wed, Nov 20, 2013

It is not against the law to be arrogant and combative as Jimenez, Sr. and some of his executives are. He knows federal acquisition law and how to exploit it and its loopholes to his company's advantage. If he has done something illegal, he will pay. Don't penalize him for being successful.

Mon, Nov 18, 2013 Imaria

Nice try to those vilifying the author of the series. Hate the game not the player might be okay if the player wasn't so unethical and completely lacking in integrity. A serious investigation of the real inner workings of the company would bring to light the truth. Whether or not MT followed SBA rules or whether there needs to be reform in the rules is just the tip of the iceberg? Ask employees what really happened before, during, and after the government shutdown. Ask former employees why they were asked to leave (they know "where the bodies are buried"). Ask their finance folks to explain how the intercompany transactions really worked. The company had amazing products and the employees are hardworking and customer focused. It's a shame that their leader is such a conniving crook.

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