GSA: IBM Resellers Unaffected by Suspension

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print

Reversing its earlier statements, the GSA now says channel partners are not affected by IBM's ban from participating in new government contracts.  

The U.S. General Services Administration is backtracking on earlier statements that IBM's suspension from doing business with the federal government extends to its business partners and resellers.

Initially, the GSA, which oversees most federal procurement, said the suspension extended to IBM reseller partners and that no IBM product could be sold to the government, regardless of the source, unless there were no other suppliers available.

After consulting with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) procurement officers who initiated the suspension, the GSA revised its interpretation, stating that IBM partners could continue to sell products to the government if they were acting on their own contracts.

IBM is under investigation for violating federal contracting practices related to an $84 million bid to the EPA. Under the suspension, IBM is prohibited from bidding on or entering into new contracts with federal agencies until the situation is resolved. Existing contracts are unaffected by the suspension.

The government's action against IBM has caused anxiety among resellers, as many observers and analysts struggled to interpret the implications of the suspension. The incorrect GSA statement only fueled confusion. IBM has stated from the beginning that its resellers were unaffected.
Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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