The ban against IBM selling to the federal government has been lifted, according to government sources.
In a statement released the morning of April 4 by the General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency lifted the suspension against IBM a week after it was imposed.
Big Blue, in a prepared statement, said that it planned to resume participating in new business with all federal agencies effective immediately.
An IBM spokesperson declined to comment on whether the EPA had attached any conditions to the end of the suspension. "We are sticking with our original statement," he said.
The EPA imposed the ban while investigating contracting irregularities related to an $84 million bid for an IT contract. Suspensions are a mechanism used by federal agencies to protect the government against “irresponsible” contractors, a government spokesperson said.
The exact cause for the suspension and its resolution were not available.
IBM said in its initial prepared statement issued March 31 that it was blindsided by the ban, which the company said began on March 27. Confusion over the scope of the suspension ensued, even within GSA.
The GSA originally said that IBM resellers would be included in the ban, but then on April 3 reversed that statement, stating that the suspension only applied to IBM’s direct business with the government.
From the beginning, IBM contended that the suspension only affected its ability to bid on future federal contracts.
IBM said in its April 4 prepared statement that it would "continue to cooperate with the EPA’s ongoing investigation of possible violations of the Procurement Integrity provisions of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act regarding a bid for business with the EPA, and with a related investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia."
Before the ban was even lifted, IBM resellers contacted by Channel Insider expressed their ongoing loyalty to Big Blue.