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IBM, Accenture Lead Responsible Government Suppliers

IBM, Accenture, HP, Merck, Dell, Boeing and McKesson have all held their positions among the most responsible government contractors, according to rankings by Corporate Responsibility magazine.

The second annual Best Corporate Citizens in Government Contracting List (pdf) is designed to encourage government to take transparency and responsibility data into account when making buying decisions.

The methodology for the List is largely the same as that for CR Magazine’s 12-year old 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. The magazine uses publicly-available data from Russell 1000 companies, collected and analyzed by leading ESG investor data firm IW Financial,  and then identifies the overlap with the top 100 government contractors for FY2010 (according to USASpending.gov as of April 2011).

That list of contractors, totaling 48 this year, is then ranked based on 324 data elements in seven weighted categories: climate change, employee relations, environment, financial, governance, human rights, philanthropy.

The magazine found that overall disclosure performance of government contractors that are the most transparent about their corporate responsibility practices improved by some 5 percent  over last year. At the same time, three-year average returns to shareholders of these firms outpaced the S&P average by .65 percentage points, or 32 percent. This proves that “transparency pays”, the magazine said.

“The Best Corporate Citizens in Government Contracting List highlights companies that know that how they provide products and services to government is just as important as the successes they achieve,” said editor-in-chief Dirk Olin.

The release coincided with the launch of a government and industry roundtable, ResponsibilityWorks, formed by the magazine’s parent organization, the Corporate Responsibility Officers Association. The roundtable is designed to bring together leaders in government, industry and academia to improve transparency and responsibility among government contractors.

Speaking at the roundtable meeting, Dan Gordon, administrator of federal procurement policy at the White House Office of Management and Budget, challenged the attendees to account for corporate responsibility in a way that does not disadvantage smaller government contractors or cause disruption to the federal procurement process.

“The U.S. government has great reach and impact with incredible accelerant potential when you consider the depth and reach of its supply chain,” said Richard Crespin, executive director of CROA. “As industry both leads and follows government—trailblazing new innovations and implementing specific guidance and requirements—ResponsibilityWorks sees corporate responsibility driving the nation’s competitive advantage and is working with government to bring this to fruition.

“We hope that this list helps drive even more transparency and responsibility in companies that do business with the government,” Crespin added.

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