It's interesting to read about Accenture and the award of the "Virtual Border" contract from the Department of Homeland Security. This Reuters article, like a recent NY Times article on the same topic, talks about the attempts by the House of Representatives to prevent Accenture receiving the contract, since Accenture's corporate headquarters is not in the US -- it is in Bermuda.

What's unfortunate about these articles is how obliquely they talk about the reason Accenture is based in Bermuda. According to Perfectly Legal by David Cay Johnston, the sole point of this is to reduce the corporate taxes Accenture pays -- they are essentially shopping for a nation with laws most favorable to their incorporation. In a chapter entitled "Profits Trump Patriotism," Johnston talks about exactly this conflict between national security and awarding government contracts to quasi-foreign corporations -- including Accenture. It's too bad the explanation of this issue isn't more clear in the articles covering it -- especially since Johnston is a Times reporter.

I do think this is an interesting and important issue, and I'm glad to see the House taking some action on it.

Update: The article in Thursday's Times has a somewhat better explanation of the issue.

  2004-06-10 17:18 Z