HP owes Canada $120m, claims official

Promises not kept

The Canadian government has fingered Hewlett Packard in a C$159m ($120m) services contract scandal.

The Department of National Defence (DND) claims that HP - and the old Compaq - failed to deliver on contracts dating back to 1991. HP was paid for the work, but the work was never done, say the Canadian feds. If HP cannot prove it fulfilled past contracts, the Canadian government has asked the company to refund money for the past projects.

Since 1991, Canada's government has forked over C$366m for various services and computing equipment. The government has pulled back C$49m in payments to HP, hoping to recoup some of its losses. HP has issued a statement saying its own investigation has yet to turn up any sketchy activity. Government officials, however, seem certain HP will be held accountable for the alleged wrongdoing.

"I should say as well that at this point we have an aggressive strategy to recover the government's money," said Defence Minister David Pratt, according to a Globe and Mail report. "I am convinced that we will get every nickel that is owed to the Canadian taxpayer."

The DND is asking HP to review all contracts going back to 1991. ®

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