Senator Collins Reacts to GSA Decision to Resume Contracting With MCI

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Susan M. Collins, the chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over government contracts, issued the following statement in response to today’s decision by the General Services Administration (GSA) to reinstate MCI’s eligibility to receive new federal contracts and extensions of existing ones:

“I am pleased that MCI will be monitored closely under the terms of the agreement with the GSA. I question, however, whether GSA made the right decision in reinstating MCI when allegations involving the company remain under investigation by federal authorities. Until those issues are resolved, it is difficult to assess MCI’s suitability for federal contracts.

“Under federal law, the government is generally not to contract with any company that lacks the necessary level of responsibility to be a federal contractor. To do business with the federal government, a company must uphold satisfactory ethical standards, not only with the government itself, but also in its business activities generally.

“All companies, including MCI, must adhere to ethical business practices if they are going to be allowed to provide services to the federal government,” said Senator Collins. “We must ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are well spent.”

Senator Collins’ committee has been investigating government contracting with MCI. Earlier this year, she requested information from the GSA and other federal agencies to determine why GSA had been slow to evaluate MCI’s fitness to do business with the federal government. The GSA eventually decided to suspend MCI from contracting on July 31, 2003.