A pressure group has called for the US government to shun telecoms company MCI because of how the £11bn accounting scandal in its previous incarnation as WorldCom affected pension funds.
Thousands of people who saw the value of their pension funds plummet after the incorrect accounts were discovered should "speak out against allowing the scandal-plagued telecoms company to retain its current status as the number one provider of telecoms services to the federal government," the group has urged.
The Gray Panthers, an 'inter-generational advocacy organisation', has launched a media campaign condemning the US government for conducting a policy of 'contracts for con artists' by using the telco as its principle supplier. MCI was recently awarded a no-bid contract to rebuild the telecoms network in Iraq.
"The Gray Panthers would like to know how in good conscience Congress can turn its back on its constituents - including older Americans - by allowing MCI WorldCom to pay no price for its crime," said Will Thomas, corporate accountability project director at Gray Panthers.
"I was stunned earlier this week to see the Securities and Exchange Commission fine WorldCom $500m one day and then the company gets a multimillion-dollar federal weather satellite contract the very next day. Crime, it seems, does pay, as long as you are MCI WorldCom."
In a related move, it was reported that Senate Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Susan Collins intends to hold hearings into the failure to debar WorldCom from federal contracts.
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