Federal ban lifted after IBM admits wrongdoing
US-based information technology giant IBM said Friday that a temporary ban on conducting business with the federal government had been lifted. ( dpa )
The ban had been imposed last week after the Environmental Protection Agency said it was looking into possible ethical violations made by the company in a bid for EPA work in March 2006.
The ban had affected all US federal authorities and all IBM divisions, with existing mandates not included. It followed inquiries by the district attorney in Virginia into an 84-million-dollar EPA contract, for which IBM could reportedly have obtained inside information illegally.
IBM had indicated that it intended to appeal the ban and limit its scope. But in an agreement between IBM and the EPA the company was to have conceded that its employees "appear to have" violated contracting guidelines and impinged the integrity of the contract bid.
IBM agreed to drop the appeal and cooperate with the investigation, acknowledging that "criminal proceedings may ensue."