HP pays $55 mil but gets up to $800 mil from feds

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced that Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard Co. has agreed to pay the United States $55 million to settle claims that the company defrauded the General Services Administration and other federal agencies. The settlement resolves allegations under the False Claims Act that HP knowingly paid kickbacks, or “influencer fees,” to systems integrator companies in return for recommendations that federal agencies purchase HP’s products. The settlement also resolves claims that HP’s 2002 contract with the GSA was defectively priced because HP provided incomplete information to GSA contracting officers during contract negotiations.

In other news, HP today announced it has been selected as a preferred technology provider by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for a new five-year enterprise computing Blanket Purchase Agreement, cumulatively worth up to $800 million.

Under the agreement’s terms, HP products may be selected through the quantum enterprise buy procurement system; in support of Air Force QEB programs over the last five years, HP has delivered more than $450 million worth of computing products including more than 720,000 desktop PCs and 40,000 notebook PCs.

“The agency BPA represents the exceptional relationship with the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense that HP has built over several decades,” Stephen DeWitt, senior vice president and general manager of HP’s Personal Systems Group, said in a news release. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the highest quality products and technology innovations for the Air Force’s worldwide enterprise computing needs.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.