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Air Force lifts suspension of Booz Allen's San Antonio office

Apr. 16, 2012 - 03:38PM   |  
By SARAH CHACKO   |   Comments

The Air Force has lifted the two-month suspension of Booz Allen Hamilton's San Antonio office, under a three-year administrative agreement reached Friday.

The office was suspended from federal contracting and proposed for debarment in February, after an employee, a retired Air Force officer, allegedly shared protected proprietary information obtained from the Air Force, according to a Feb. 6 memo by the Air Force deputy general counsel.

That information included pricing data and labor rates on an expiring $75 million IT Modernization Services contract held by the company NIC. Booz Allen's San Antonio office was planning to compete for the contract, which provides information technology support services for Air Force medical programs.

Booz Allen employees and supervisors did not immediately report the incident, which occurred last April, according to Friday's administrative agreement. A pricing analyst reported the incident that month but the company's legal department did not take action until May 27.

Even then, the company focused mainly on retired Lt. Col. Joselito Meneses, who allegedly brought the protected information with him and shared it with colleagues, according to the Air Force documents. Meneses was fired and the company did not compete for the contract, but Booz Allen did not disclose the matter to the Air Force general counsel or Defense Department inspector general, the agreement states. Booz Allen disclosed the matter informally to Air Force contracting personnel involved with the new modernization contract, the agreement said.

"Overall, Booz Allen acknowledges that the proposed debarment and its resulting investigation have revealed ethical deficiencies and questionable business practices that may be systemic in nature," the agreement states.

During its suspension, Booz Allen Hamilton hired Affiliated Monitors Inc. to help improve the company's ethics program and Jenner & Block law firm to assess how the company conducts internal investigations and communicates with the government. The company must report the findings, its plan for improvement and progress reports to the Air Force over the next three years.

Booz Allen paid the Air Force $65,000 to cover the agency's costs to administer the agreement.

The Air Force's Feb. 6 memo said two of Meneses' managers David Henderson and Steve Park also knew about the disclosure by Meneses. The company says Meneses, Henderson and Park no longer work for Booz Allen. All three have been indefinitely suspended from work with the government, according to the government's Excluded Parties List System.

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