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World Bank bars Satyam from business with it

New Delhi, Wed, 24 Dec 2008 NI Wire

The World Bank on Tuesday morning confirmed that it has banned its largest software vender Satyam – India’s fourth largest software firm – from doing any business with it for eight years, a US broadcaster Fox News revealed this news.

A spokesperson of the World Bank in India has also confirmed this news by quoting that the statement of the bank regarding the firm was true.

The Bank has imposed ban on Hyderabad based Satyam Computer Services for allegedly providing ‘improper benefits to bank staff’ and ‘lack of documentation on invoices’, Fox News said quoting Robert Van Pulley, the World Bank’s top information security official.

Moreover, quoting sources the Fox News said that bank has also alleged Satyam for ‘data theft’ and ‘bribery’ and informed that the ban became effective from September 2008 following the temporary suspension in February 2008.

However, Satyam has denied making any comment on this news quoting that it did not want to make any comments on issues related to individual clients. The Bank has not enlisted the firm in the debarred list so far, sources added.

But, according to the World Bank, the move of imposing ban came after the bank investigators discovered spy software secretly installed on the workstations inside the bank’s Washington headquarter allegedly by one or more contractors from Satyam Computers.

The software firm begins to work for world’s largest anti-poverty agency since 2003 including writing, maintaining all software for the bank across all locations along with back-end office support.

But within two years of association, in 2005 an alleged case of bribery unearthed in bank relating to Satyam Computer in which Mohamed Muhsin, the Chief Information officer of Word Bank was sacked with accusation of buying preferential stock options of worth $100-million from Satyam, even as he awarded the firm major contracts.

The bank has dismissed Muhsin permanently in 2007 on the report of internal investigation that found him ‘guilty’, even though the relationship of the bank and Satyam remained unaffected and Satyam continued to provide service till October 2008.

But in February 2008, the bank suspended Satyam temporarily on the basis of a ‘non-responsive vendor’ and after investigation it imposed an eight-year ban till 2016.

The image of Satyam is already tainted because of two allegations: one, a failed attempt to acquire two realty and infrastructure firms partially owned by the promoters of Satyam in $1.6 billion and second, a case of fraud, forgery and a breach of contract sued by a UK based mobile and online payment firm Upaid Systems.

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PPS Hariprasad

December 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Report and wording relating to Mohamed V Muhsin is wholly malicious. It is unworthy of reading.



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