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SEC violated procurement law by purchasing Apple equipment

The Washington Post reports that the SEC violated procurement law when it purchased almost US$1 million in computer equipment from Apple in 2008. In a report released last week, the SEC's inspector general said that after the purchase the computer equipment "immediately failed" to work as intended. The report says that the SEC violated federal regulations when it told Apple its budget for one of the orders and failed to seek out any further competitive bids.

The SEC was seeking to purchase updated equipment in order to help meet its expanded duties in regulating the financial industry. Prior to the purchase, the SEC was still relying on old tape reels to store and back up data. The report also accuses Apple of wrongdoing. It says Apple used the known budget the SEC had (originally $200,000) and tailored the order around that. However, Apple left out "essential equipment that the SEC was subsequently forced to purchase," according to the report. That essential equipment cost the SEC another $773,000. The SEC said that "appropriate action was taken" against the employee responsible for the purchase. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet declined to issue a comment on the matter to The Washington Post.

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