Sunday, 15 April 2012

CSC's NHS IT Partner Directors On Trial

There is an old saying along the lines of "You judge someones character by the company they keep". CSC has been keeping very close company with iSoft and have got so close that they bought the company.
iSoft's business is in providing software for the healthcare sector and it is used by CSC as the backbone for multi-billion pound sterling NPfIT sponsored by the UK National Health Service. Much has been written about why after nearly ten years of trying CSC cannot get this software to work and about the impact this failure has had and continues to have on CSC. Perhaps part of the answer lies in a criminal trial being held at Southwark Crown Court in London England.
The Manchester Evening News reported on 13th April:

Former directors of healthcare software firm iSoft conspired to give false accounts of how the company was performing to boost their own personal wealth, a court heard.
The Manchester business's former chief executive Timothy Whiston, 44, of Lymm, and former directors Stephen Graham, 48, from Knutsford, and John Whelan, 45, of Cheadle Hulme, appeared in the dock as they went on trial at London's Southwark Crown Court.
The trio all deny a single charge of conspiring together to make statements, promises or false acts about iSoft which they knew to be false, misleading or deceptive.
The offences are alleged to have been carried out between October 2003 and July 2006.
The firm's former chairman Patrick Cryne, 61, now owner of Barnsley Football Club will be tried separately due to ill health.
Jurors were told there was a "huge discrepancy" between the iSoft accounts that were published and what the state of the firm's finances were in reality.
Beginning his opening of the case, prosecutor Richard Latham QC said Cryne and Graham became multi-millionaires from the alleged crime, while the other two defendants also became rich.
All of them received substantial annual bonuses on top of their salaries.
He told jurors that as a public limited company the firm, which specialises in providing software for health service providers, had to publish details of its accounts twice yearly.
He said: "If a company mis-states its accounts, it has very serious consequences for us all.
"This is not about a slight slip-up. It's not about a marginal error of no real consequence. It's precisely the opposite. This case involves a continuing deliberate deception.”
He said the defendants misled the company's non-executive directors, its audit committee and its external auditors, and may have corrupted other more junior members of staff. The trial continues.

The big questions are;
 who in CSC decided iSoft was an appropriate company to do business with?
 why does CSC persist in championing this product when it is obviously not fit for purpose?

One final point. These problems with iSoft are nothing new as these posts1. and 2. from three years ago reported concerns about iSoft financial reports and the software.

No comments: