HP TO PAYS $16M IN TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICT BRIBERY CHARGES

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HP TO PAYS $16M IN TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICT BRIBERY CHARGES

 user 2010-11-17 at 7:47:13 am Views: 63
  • #24323

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/hp-to-pay-millions-to-settle-school-computer-fraud-suit.ars

    HP PAYS $16M IN TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICT BRIBERY CHARGES
    Hewlett
    Packard has agreed to fork over $16.25 million to settle charges that
    the computer maker “lavished” gifts on two Texas school districts in
    order to win government contracts to provide computer equipment. Acting
    on tips from whistleblowers within the Dallas and Houston school
    districts, the Department of Justice and Federal Communications
    Commission investigated the allegations.”Meals and
    entertainment—including trips on a yacht and tickets to the 2004 Super
    Bowl—were provided by the contractors to get inside information and win
    contracts that were supposed to be awarded through a competitive bidding
    process,” the Federal Communications Commission disclosed late on
    Wednesday.The FCC’s Schools and Libraries or “E-Rate” fund is the
    program that was allegedly compromised. E-Rate provides money to
    libraries and schools for computer and networking gear. Contractors like
    HP are supposed to bid for school district cash under an open
    process.The suits were filed under the provisions of the False Claims
    Act, which allows the whistleblowers to sue on behalf of the United
    States and receive some of the recovery money. But, as is often the case
    in these settlements, while the government charged that HP was
    “conspiring to rig the competitive bidding of E-Rate contracts,” the
    company is admitting no crime.

    “This Agreement is neither an
    admission of liability by HP, which denies the claims described above,
    nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not
    well-founded,” the settlement explains.Bottom line: HP will pay
    $7,402,441 for the Dallas contract and $8,847,559 for its contracting
    bids in Houston.We did nothing wrong, and we’ll never do it againHP has
    also agreed to a compliance program which involves training its
    employees in how to comply with E-Rate contracting rules (presumably
    someone will tell them not to hand out Super Bowl and yacht trip tickets
    to school officials).The company’s employees will have to certify that
    they “are not aware of and have no reason to suspect that anyone has
    provided or has promised to provide a gift, payment or entertainment, or
    anything else of value, on HP’s behalf in connection with any bid or
    agreement that might violate the E-Rate Program Rules or other
    applicable law, or any HP policy.”Further actions are being taken
    against former HP business partners Micro Systems Engineering (MSE) and
    Analytical Computer Services (ACS), and a number of individuals.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/hp-to-pay-millions-to-settle-school-computer-fraud-suit.ars