Government correct in banning
MCI from telecommunications contractsOne of your readers recently wrote a letter defending MCI as a government contractor and arguing against its disbarment for reasons of national security (“Telephone companies attack MCI and create national security question,” SDN, Aug. 20).While I agree with the letter-writer that national security is important, I believe that integrity and trust are also vital to a responsible government, particularly the military, and to any contractors with whom the government works.The latest accusations against MCI of rerouting phone calls to avoid paying higher costs prove that any government contracts with MCI are not in the interest of national security. AT&T even claims to have evidence that MCI allegedly cheated one of its main customers – the Defense Department – in this rerouting scheme. The fact that the federal government, particularly the Defense Department, was the victim of such an elaborate scheme flies in the face of national security.The General Services Administration was correct in recognizing the dishonest and fraudulent behavior of MCI and barring it from any further government contracts.This decision to disbar does not threaten national security, but rather ensures that national security is protected by trusting the safety of troops and smooth functioning of a vital communications system to companies that can prove their honesty and worth. MCI’s competitors rightfully claim that MCI should not be rewarded in government contracts when it cannot do business honestly, especially at the expense of the federal government.State and local governments should follow the example of the federal government and disbar MCI from any further state or local government contracts until MCI can prove that its business practices are clean and it as a company can be trusted.Disbarring MCI from government contracts does not put our troops in harms way, but rather ensures that the government and military are relying on an honest provider for communications services.Awarding contracts to an honest company is in the interest of national security.Shannon BooneGreeley
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