SAP software for ONGC slammed by MP

Vol 6, PW 4 (24 Apr 02) People & Policy

ELSEWHERE RAHA is mounting a robust defence of ONGC's decision back in 1996 to appoint German software giant SAP to implement an 'Enterprise Resource Planning' system against allegations of corruption levelled by a nondescript MP.

Scandal loomed when on 23rd January this year Patna-based Lok Sabha MP Nagmani wrote to prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee demanding an inquiry into "ERP scam of Rs150cr ($30.6m) by ONGC in implementing SAP Enterprise Software Package on nomination basis without calling for tenders or even discussions." Writes Nagmani: "I have come to know through reliable sources that ONGC is only evaluating SAP on a nomination basis as a vendor for providing ERP software and has not invited even a single international ERP vendor either for presentation, technical discussion or price negotiation." He adds: "It is a pre-planned scam to order most of the equipments and services to pre-decided companies at a very, very high cost and cause heavy financial loss to ONGC." He ends: "I request you to take all necessary steps in National Interest to save one of our Navratna companies from becoming another scam centre." A week later, in a signed letter, PM Vajpayee responds to Nagmani: "I have received your letter of January 23rd regarding the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the SAP Enterprise Software Package in ONGC." Spurred on by the PM's direct involvement, Shastri Bhawan on 12th February demanded from ONGC a detailed explanation on the alleged irregularities raised by Nagmani.