World Bank knew all along about Satyams corrupt ways

January 13th, 2009 - 5:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan.13 (ANI): A FOX News report has revealed that World Bank officials have known for more than three years about corruption involving the highest corporate levels of Satyam, but felt no obligation to share that information publicly until late last month.
Now, in the wake of Satyam’’s implosion, and after FOX News’’s disclosure on October 10, 2008, that the company had been secretly banished from doing business at the World Bank in early 2008, the World Bank is coughing up more crucial facts.
In what it calls “the interest of fairness and transparency,” the bank late Sunday night officially declared on its Web site that it had banned Satyam.
The bank also named two additional high-tech companies that it debarred in 2007 from receiving contracts under its corporate procurement program. One is Wipro Technologies India’’s No. 3 software services provider, with 95,000 employees around the world which the bank says it barred for four years for “providing improper benefits to bank staff.”
The second sanctioned firm is a Herndon,Va.-based company called Megasoft Consultants the U.S. unit of a company called Megasoft Ltd that trades on India’’s Bombay and Madras stock exchanges. The bank banned it for “participating in a joint venture with bank staff while also conducting business with the bank.”
Records obtained by FOX News, however, shed additional light on all three of the World Bank debarment cases, indicating that the affected firms shared corporate and even personal ties, and in the case of one firm may even have shared a collusive strategy for retaining
The ban on Wipro was prompted by the sale of about 1,750 shares for about 72,000 dollars.
Wipro did not reveal the World Bank ban itself since it was a World Bank policy not to discuss such investigations. Once the bank had changed its position, Wipro decided to issue a statement and clarify.
Documents obtained by FOX News, however, show something Wipro did not mention: that the shares it provided to the bank officials were dispensed just weeks after it first began bidding for World Bank technology contracts back in September 2000.
A World Bank investigation report on the matter, which outlines the details, has never been made public.
In the case of Megasoft, FOX has learned that the company was used as a vehicle to obtain World Bank contracts after bank officials had grown concerned that Satyam already had too many such deals.
Indeed, according to internal bank sources, Satyam was informed that it would not be able to bid on many future contracts. By that time, however, “many contracts that Satyam didn”t bid on or get, Megasoft was getting,” a former World Bank anti-corruption investigator told FOX News.
According to sources reached by FOX News, the World Bank’’s relationship with Megasoft was facilitated by Ben Hu, a longtime World Bank technology official and former commissioner of China’’s main securities regulator, who became a director of Megasoft in 2003, at the same time as he was serving as a World Bank consultant.
According to company records, Hu never attended a Megasoft board meeting. He left the board in 2007.
It took seven months of “knowledge-transfer” including the conversion of Satyam contract employees into employees of two other major Indian technology companies, Tata Computer Services and EDS before Satyam was shown the door. (ANI)

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