UN Belatedly Suspends Indian Enron Satyam, Puts
Contracts Under Assessment, No
Accountability on Oracle
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 14 -- The UN has belatedly
suspended as a vendor Satyam, and has put under review the ongoing
this so-called Indian Enron, including a $6 million deal reached long
World Bank first suspended the company. On January 13, Inner City Press
UN spokesperson Michele Montas to explain how Satyam got this contract,
UN's Inter-Agency Procurement Task Force process, meant to share
information throughout the UN system, had failed. Ms. Montas said she
unaware of the
controversy. Video here.
Hours later, Inner City Press asked
Assistant Secretary General Warren Sach about the scandal. He said that
affiliated agencies are supposed to inform others of their suspension,
correspondence and through databases, which the World Bank appears to
failed to do.
14, the Spokesperson's Office answered Inner City Press' question-
Subj: Your question yesterday on
To: Matthew Lee [at] innercitypress.com
Sent: 1/14/2009 10:04:28 A.M.
Eastern Standard Time
Satyam has been suspended from
the UN Secretariat vendor database. The information has been
the UN procurement system and the UN Global Marketplace. Ongoing
Satyam are currently under assessment.
An ongoing five
year contract between the UN
Secretariat and Satyam for over $6 million began on July 18, 2008, for
management software." It is time for the UN to provide further
on how this happened, what will be done and who will be held
UN's Ban and computers, Satyam not shown, even in suspension database
2008, Inner City Press exposed that
the UN purchased 30,000 licenses from Oracle to a computer program
Seibel, a so-called Customer Relations Management (CRM) system, and has
That contract is for $7.5 million, of which
over $3 million have already been paid to Oracle. But the licenses have
been used, according to UN computer system personnel. These
outraged at the waste and of accountability they say is pervasive, have
directed Inner City Press to the documentary evidence of the phantom
contract. In the UN's online
Procurement database, the
information about the Seibel purchase from Oracle is substantially less
detailed than from other purchases. For other purchases, the
the procurement are online, often dozens of pages. For this purchase
Oracle, there are no online specifications.
Internal whistleblowers tell Inner City
Press that worse than the mis-management that led to the purchase of
licenses well before they would or even could be used is the cover-up
occurred afterwards. They also identify as problematic the UN's
with EMC Corporation to purchase licenses for a program called
ostensibly to replace the UN's Official Document System for the UN's
"Enterprise Content Management" system, ECM.
contracting began under the tenure of Eduardo Blinder, who has since
to the even less overseen International Computing Center, to which the
Secretariat outsources much of its work and procurement.
More recently, the person responsible for the
waste is the Officer in Charge who replaced Blinder, Chandramouli
In the UN's basement, Ban Ki-moon's
Secretariat's CRM and ECM are being considered for the UN's Fifth
Committee. But the Committee members have never been informed of the
has occurred. Nor has the Office of
Internal Oversight Services, embroiled in its own scandal, done
In a draft of the pending resolution provided
to Inner City Press by a budget committee source, the Secretary-General
criticized for proceeding with CRM and ECM before making any proposal
Inner City Press has asked Ban's spokesperson
Michele Montas about this critique from the General Assembly. Video
Montas said she would have no comment at all until after the Assembly
the resolution which she said might not take place until Christmas Eve.
But there has still been no
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