If you thought Apple was good at pushing its tech gadgets to consumers, that’s nothing compared to some government deals. What’s great about federal contracts, if $1M mistake is made, agencies will cover it up, a government watchdog reports.
An Apple salesman in 2008 “convinced” the Securities and Exchange Commission to buy storage gear from the Cupertino, Calif. company and its Ipartner Cloverleaf Communications, according to reports. When SEC employees told bosses the equipment was full of bugs and virtually useless, officials warned them to stay quiet, the agency’s inspector general David Kotz writes.
“This information doesn’t leave this room,” SEC high-ups said. Little wonder agency officials didn’t want the debacle to become public. “Kotz also found the SEC improperly shared budget information with Apple and went ahead with purchases before getting proper approval and before performing reviews,” reports Reuters.
Apple has had strained relationships with the U.S. government. Although the tech giant has witnessed a dramatic uptick in government sales, the company has repeatedly been the focus of federal investigations. Recently, Apple officials testified before the U.S. Congress about a so-called “location-gate” controversy spawn by reports iPhone and iPads were tracking owners.
In late 2010, Apple reportedly was the focus of an SEC insider-trading investigation. Questions were raised whether analysts were being fed insider information, wrongly manipulating stock prices.
The most recent questions about Apple center around the purpose for its huge North Carolina data facility. Although Cupertino officials have said the center will be operational soon, speculation is that the project could be part of Apple’s push into cloud computing.
Whatever the reality, guessing Apple’s next move has become the latest Silicon Valley parlor game and the iPhone maker is rapidly replacing Microsoft as a company on regulatory radar.