Washington (June 11, 2004) - Just as consulting giant Accenture began popping the champagne corks to celebrate last week’s award of a $10 billion homeland security contract, lawmakers passed a measure to void the engagement because the firm is not based in the U.S.

By a 35-17 margin, the House Appropriations voted to modify the Department of Homeland Security's $32 billion budget to prevent Hamilton, Bermuda-based Accenture - the leader of a 30-member coalition of companies on the assignment - from implementing its solution that would help track and screen foreign visitors entering or leaving the United States.

The bill must still pass the full House and Senate and be signed by President Bush before becoming law.

Supporters of the amendment alluded to the fact that Accenture located its headquarters offshore to limit its tax liability.

“It is simply wrong for the Department of Homeland Security to award an expatriate with the largest corporate contract to date,'' said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a co-sponsor of the amendment.

However, an Accenture spokesman said the contract was awarded to the U.S. subsidiary of Accenture, which is based in Illinois and therefore would pay U.S. taxes on the security engagement fee.

Accenture is the former Andersen Consulting.

- WebCPA staff

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