The EPA has just lifted the one-week old ban
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has cleared IBM from the one-week interdiction of seeking new contract opportunities with the US Federal Government. Although the suspension lift means that the company can get back into business, the EPA investigating is still ongoing.
The decision of lifting the ban on the company's government contracts came out of the blue, and was not accompanied by any explanation.
The event was separately announced by both parties (IBM and the U.S. General Services Administration). However, IBM's return on the government contracts market is supposed to set the company back on track with its direct competitors, such as CSC, EDS or Affiliated Computer Service.
IBM still has to account for the March 2006 contract bid violations regarding federal procurement integrity rules. Right after the company got blacklisted, IBM stated that the U.S. attorney's office for the eastern district of Virginia fired up a lawsuit that investigates the interactions between its employees and the EPA.
The Environment Protection Agency claimed back then that IBM's ban was "a temporary measure while the agency reviews concerns raised about potential activities involving an EPA procurement", while the GSA completed that the suspensions are not to be regarded as punitive measures, but rather like a method of protecting the US government.
IBM is one of the senior players in the government contracts business, and accounted no less than $1.4 billion per year in contracts from different agencies.
Richard Colven, an analyst at market research firm Input in Reston says that it would be difficult to predict the effects of the ban on the future interactions between IBM and the United States government, but he predicts some negative consequences. "But I would think that IBM's reputation across the government and in general will be able to overcome this," he continued.