Senator claims company not cooperating with audit of GSA contract

Sen. Charles Grassley and Sun Microsystems continue to spar over allegations that Sun is not cooperating with an audit of the company's government contract.

On Monday, the Iowa Republican's office said that to its knowledge, Sun has not met any of the deadlines for supplying documentation to the inspector general at the General Services Administration during its audit of the agency's contract for Sun products and services. Grassley had requested the audit June 5 after claims of misconduct within GSA surfaced.

Last week, Sun said in a statement that it is cooperating with the audit and repeatedly has offered to meet with Grassley to discuss both parties' concerns. In a July 25 letter, Sun Chairman Scott McNealy told Grassley that "any information you have received that suggests Sun has not or will not cooperate with the contracting officer and does not intend to provide information on [cost-savings data] is demonstrably false."

Grassley's staff said it wanted to set the record straight that Sun initially requested a meeting the same day that it contacted the senator -- a scheduling impossibility for the busy lawmaker. Sun attorney Ty Cobb of Hogan and Hartson countered that the company offered to make McNealy available on a date of the senator's choosing, "and we never got a response."

According to GSA, Sun was responsive to GSA's request for information regarding the contract. The agency issued a statement on Monday that said, "GSA believes that the recent contract negotiated with Sun Microsystems Inc. is a good deal for the taxpayer."

In a July 24 letter to Sun, Grassley expressed dismay that the IG still had not received documents needed to proceed with the audit. The review involves a contract extension awarded to Sun in September by GSA. The contract has faced scrutiny partly because House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., called GSA Administrator Lurita Doan to testify about her alleged meddling during the business dealings.

At a March hearing, GSA Inspector General Brian Miller stated that Doan and her top staff intervened in negotiations with Sun, going against the judgment of three career contract officers and choosing a higher-priced offer from Sun.

Miller testified that "as a direct consequence of her intervention ... the pricing concession made to Sun means that the U.S. taxpayers will inevitably pay far more for government IT products and services than they should."

Sun's July 25 letter in response to Grassley's letter said "we feel strongly" that this particular inspector general and his staff "have a significant and well-documented conflict of interest and a demonstrated predisposition regarding our contract."

Because of the IG's statements, Sun has asked to be audited by someone outside the IG's office. Sun apparently "got mixed up" in the IG's efforts "to get the administrator ousted. It's bizarre that we got picked as the whipping boy," Cobb said.

Grassley spokeswoman Beth Levine said on Monday: "Frankly, it is irresponsible for Sun to shirk its obligations as a government contractor and to argue that the IG is biased. ... Senator Grassley is confident that the IG will conduct a fair and objective audit of the new Sun contract."

The GSA IG's office did not wish to comment on Monday.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.