Sunday, April 06, 2008

Big Blue has the blues

On March 27, 2008, IBM was suspended by the EPA from obtaining new federal work orders and contracts. Here are the terms. By April 4 the suspension was lifted. This had to do with a contract EPA had awarded, and IBM had protested. It has been alleged that IBM employees received procurement sensitive data, which could have given it unfair advantage in the competition. The data allegedly came from EPA employees. I have seen the agreement, although it is not online, at least I couldn't find it easily. IBM's leadership has signed on the bottom line to cooperate with the US Atty investigation to the fullest.

IBM started out protesting the suspension but quickly changed its tune when it learned the facts. I don't expect a huge company to know the details of everything its employees do. I do expect the leadership to step up to issues and deal with them, rather than complain about the unfairness of it all. IBM's leadership stepped up to the plate and I expect we'll see more later as the facts unravel. Given that they have over a billion dollars in contracts with Uncle Sam, they can ill afford to protect bad behavior that cuts them off from the cash flow, and they know it.

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