Satyam disputes WHO audit report

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Satyam disputes WHO audit report

Satyam has disputed an audit report which highlighted problems in its contract with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the development of a US$55.5m global business management system.

The audit report suggested that Satyam had ignored instructions from Oracle, the maker of the enterprise resource planning system.

It also criticised the system testing programme, the user training regime and the lack of involvement from the healthcare professionals expected to use the system.

But Satyam has denied the criticisms. "There is absolutely no basis to say that Oracle instructions were ignored. The training was supposed to have been delivered by WHO themselves, and Satyam had made the training material available to them," the company's senior European spokesman told Computing.

When the report was written in March 2008, it concluded that the implementation of the Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) system was more than 40 per cent behind schedule.

It further stated that the implementation costs had exceeded the budget by US$1.4bn, and could rise further.

But, while acknowledging delays to the implementation, the Satyam spokesman denied that it was over budget.

"The project is behind schedule and one of the key reasons was that this is a massive business transformation exercise and to get the WHO organisation ready has been a marathon effort," he told Computing. "The contract is fixed price and so far we are within the budget."

A WHO spokesman confirmed that that figure for costs "relates to WHO staff supporting the implementation".

The WHO confirmed that it is "reviewing carefully its current contractual arrangements with Satyam, and possible contingency arrangements for completion of the project work, in the event that Satyam were no longer able to perform".

Satyam has been rocked by recent revelations that its senior management had inflated profits for the past seven years by 50.4bn rupees (US$1bn).
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