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Hewlett-Packard loses direct access to a UK government sector after appeal

Issue #1005/2 – Following the unrest and strike action by Hewlett-Packard Staff (EDS employees) in the UK and parts of Europe over recent months (see ), it is now reported that Hewlett-Packard’s rejection from the public sector bidding list in the UK has been confirmed – despite appealing against the original decision.

UK Houses of ParliamentUK Houses of Parliament

Whether the unrest over job losses, frozen salaries and perceived unfair treatment of EDS staff in the face of large company profits, despite “solid performance”, actually has anything to do with the decision by the UK’s national procurement partner, Buying Solutions, is unknown. But, it would be quite reasonable for a government body to want to inject as much security of supply into its IT systems and support network as possible. No company with a history or reputation for staff dissatisfaction and unrest is ever going to top the list of contenders for public sector work.

This will come as a serious blow to all divisions within Hewlett-Packard, including the Imaging and Printing Group, with its large-scale Managed Print Services offering. The company is going to have to work hard to rebuild its reputation, and good will amongst its staff, if it wants to re-enter the list and gain access to the UK public sector in the future.

In the meantime, we have to ask whether this scenario could be replayed in other countries? This has come at a time when Hewlett-Packard has just turned a corner in the current economic downturn, with the first signs of revenue growth returning in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 – the first growth in a year. As such, this buying list rejection could hardly have come at a worse time!

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