Syringa sues Idaho over telecom bid


By Rebecca Boone = AP Writer


BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Syringa Networks is suing the state, saying
the Idaho Department of Administration illegally awarded a
lucrative Idaho Education Network contract to Qwest even though
Qwest didn't have the lowest bid.

In the lawsuit filed in 4th District Court, Syringa's attorneys
say an impartial evaluation team selected by the Department of
Administration found the company was the most technically
proficient bidder and also the least expensive. But, Syringa
contends, department director Mike Gwartney decided to award the
contract to Qwest Communication Co. anyway, depriving Syringa of an
estimated $60 million in work over the next two decades.

The work is part of an ambitious project to link public schools,
universities and businesses over a high-speed broadband network.

Gwartney and other department officials could not be immediately
reached by The Associated Press.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-12-15-09 1500MST<

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