Statement from Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Collins on MCI WorldCom Suspension

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Susan M. Collins, the chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the General Services Administration (GSA) that it is taking action to suspend MCI WorldCom’s eligibility to receive new federal contracts or extensions on existing ones:

“The GSA has made the right decision in taking decisive action to protect the American taxpayers from doing business with a company that has demonstrated a flagrant lack of ethics. 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. This decision reinforces a sound principle: 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.”

In May, Senator Collins initiated a Committee investigation into federal contracts with MCI WorldCom and, over the course of June and July, sought information from eight federal agencies, including GSA, regarding their contracting with the corporation. Senator Collins also called upon the GSA to examine whether or not MCI WorldCom should continue to be eligible to contract with the federal government. The GSA Inspector General also recommended that the GSA initiate the proceedings that led to today’s suspension.

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over federal procurement laws.