A US senator has launched an investigation into why MCI has continued to receive government contracts following its record Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
Pressure groups welcomed the move by Susan Collins, chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, arguing that the beleaguered telco had been let off lightly when compared with firms such as Enron and Arthur Andersen, which were both found guilty of similar behaviour and barred from doing business with the government.
Independent lobby group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has been vitriolic in its criticism of the former WorldCom's continued receipt of government contracts.
"It's about time that a member of Congress voices concern about why a corrupt company such as MCI continues to garner expensive government contracts," said Tom Schatz, president of the CAGW.
"The practice of rewarding companies such as MCI with new contracts has gone on far too long, and we applaud senator Collins for shining some light on this important taxpayer issue."
Earlier this year, the General Services Administration renewed the company's $11bn contract to provide communications services for several government agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Commerce, and the Interior.
In mid-May, MCI received another government contract worth a reported $45m to set up a mobile network in Iraq, and a seven-year deal to provide satellite links for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The most recent contracts were announced in the same week as the company was fined $500m by the Securities and Exchange Commission for fraudulent practices.
"Both the law and common sense clearly require that the government end this unholy alliance with MCI once and for all," Schatz said.
"We look forward to the hearing that senator Collins will chair to provide more information on MCI's government contracts."
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