Sun Microsystems cancels GSA contract
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based technology company told GSA that the cancellation is effective Oct. 12.
“We took this step reluctantly, as we have always valued our relationship with GSA and its team of committed professionals,” the company said in a statement. “ … Sun remains honored to be a federal contractor, and, like other companies in our industry who do not have a GSA multi-award schedule, we look forward to continuing to serve our government customers.”
GSA’s Office of Inspector General told the agency more than two years ago that Sun had gouged the government for millions more than it charged its commercial customers—which, if proven true, would have been cause to terminate the company’s contract with GSA. Agency officials, who denied the allegations, pushed to renew the contract.
In recent months, Sun had been in the crosshairs of U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who had asked GSA Administrator Lurita Doan in a letter to cancel GSA’s contract with Sun unless the company produced documentation for an audit that Grassley requested. Doan bristled at Grassley’s request, and instead pressed for the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency to investigate claims that GSA Inspector General Brian Miller is too biased to audit Sun and other companies.
In an apparent reference to the involvement of Miller and Grassley in the GSA/Sun contract, Doan, in a statement, asserted that “American taxpayers get the best deal when we allow our professional contracting officers to negotiate and manage the relationship with our vendors.”
“Unfortunately, this process was taken in another direction,” Doan said.
In response to Sun’s announcement, Grassley issued a brief statement expressing surprise that the company “has chosen to do this prior to the completion of the [inspector general] audits that I requested last June.”
“I don’t know why Sun made this decision,” Grassley said. “Government contractors should be expected to fully cooperate with inquiries by government officials and congressional oversight. The real customers, the American taxpayers, deserve nothing less.”
According to a statement released by the agency, GSA customers will continue to make awards and exercise options on the Sun contract until it expires at midnight on Oct. 12.
“After Oct. 12, there are several vendors on the IT schedule that provide the full complement of Sun products and services,” GSA said.