White House Cautions Agencies About Hiring Andersen

The Bush administration has issued a letter to federal agencies to carefully determine whether business practices and ethics are sufficient before hiring Big Five firm Andersen or Enron Corp. to perform government services. While not specifically asking agencies to choose different companies, Mitchell Daniels, director of the government Office of management and budget cautioned the General Services Administration and nine other federal agencies to refer to the government's ethics and integrity requirements before awarding future contracts to either Andersen or Enron.

"Consideration should be given to the initiation of suspension or debarment treatment for all, or part of, Arthur Andersen or Enron as appropriate," said Mr. Daniels. Suspension is temporary, disbarment is for "a reasonable period," according to the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

Andersen currently performs services on 64 federal government contracts worth $24.7 million.

Meanwhile, Andersen's UK managing partner, John Ormerod, has issued a letter to Andersen's UK clients stating that his firm should not be blamed for the failure of Enron. "We've been in business here in Britain for half a century. Our 500 partners and 5,500 other staff here are proud of their work and determined to defend our long-established reputation for professional competence and integrity."

The letter continues, "Much of the comment in the press focused on US accounting standards. In the UK, of course, there are different accounting standards. Our current practices and policies are robust and should not cause you, or your shareholders, any concern."

You can read the full text of Mr. Ormerod's letter.

You may like these other stories...

Here's a CPA who truly walks the walk. On March 15, Frank Ryan, CPA, departed San Diego, California, with plans to be in Ocean City, Maryland, by July 2 to teach a course at the Maryland Association of CPAs’ (MACPA...
When Theodore J. Flynn first joined the Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA) in 1970, it was a different world and a different profession.  The "Big Eight" were still headquartered in Boston. Vietnam War...
Accountant Rickey Charles Goodrich had it a little too good. Many bean counters would kill to serve as financial guru to the likes of Pearl Jam. Goodrich was hired in 2005, and the following year, he became the CFO of Curtis...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.
Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.