Obama administration suspends new government contracts to BP
BY TENNILLE TRACY
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has temporarily blocked BP from getting new contracts with the U.S. government, citing a "lack of business integrity" that resulted in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The suspension will temporarily prevent the company and named affiliates from getting new government contracts or grants until the company can prove it meets federal business standards, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday. The Interior Department is conducting an auction of oil-drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday.
EPA said this type of action was standard practice in instances where a "responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case."
The government "take[s] these actions to ensure the integrity of federal programs by conducting business only with responsible individuals or companies," the EPA said. The suspension does not affect existing contracts BP has with the government.
BP was unavailable for immediate comment. Earlier this month, BP agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of misconduct or neglect of ship officers and other charges.