US govt may bar Sprint from federal contracts

The US inspector general is recommending hearings to decide whether Sprint should be barred from government contracts. The...

The US inspector general is recommending hearings to decide whether Sprint should be barred from government contracts. The decision stems from a $2.6m (£1.6m) overcharge to the US Department of Justice.

Sprint spokesman Steven Lunceford said that the carrier received notice of the inspector general's recommendation last week. He it was "unprecedented and totally without merit", since the overcharge was the result of a billing error.

In June, Sprint reached a settlement with the DoJ to pay it $5.2m (£3.2m), twice the amount of the overcharge, Lunceford said. 

Even so, the inspector general asked for a debarment proceeding against Sprint within the US General Services Administration (GSA) because of the billing issue, Lunceford said.

The overcharge resulted from billing the DoJ a market rate for a specific fee between 2000 and 2002, when Sprint was required to charge a lower rate under a multiyear Federal Telecommunications Service contract awarded in 2001. 

If Sprint is eventually debarred, it would join WorldCom, now laso known as MCI, on a list of companies not allowed to bid for new federal business. The GSA suspended contracts with MCI last week. 

Matt Hamblen writes for Computerworld

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