BAE Systems could be barred from selling some tech overseas

Corruption, tech transfer charges could isolate IT/defense contractor

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BAE Systems -- a defense contractor whose main customer is the U.S. government and should therefore really know better -- is on the verge of being sanctioned for selling protected technology overseas.

In March, 2010 BAE systems pleaded guilty to fraud and making false statements to U.S. officials about the involvement of its executives in bribing foreign officials, and of illegally selling restricted radar systems to Tanzania.

It paid $400 million in fines as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Dept., but might also face debarment -- further limits on its British parent company that would prevent the U.S. division from transferring technology outside the U.S.

The charges go back through years of disagreements over accusations that BAE executives landed deals with bribery rather than good technology.

BAE's product mix includes a range of IT services, including systems integration and professional services, deals primarily with government customers.

If it is disbarred, it may be looking for more U.S.-based customers, who might find the combination of BAE CIO Advisory Services and select products from the heavy weapons division to be a potent negotiating package for that meeting with the CFO.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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