back to article Microsoft responds to Chinese software contract bribery claims

Microsoft has responded to the WSJ's accusations that its business partners bribed Chinese officials in exchange for software contracts, by noting that it is reviewing the allegations and may find dirt. The company published a statement on Tuesday in response to the WSJ's report that lawyers from both the Justice Department and …

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Anonymous Coward

Let's be real

Like one would be able to land a government contract without a bribe, anywhere in the world.

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Happy

Re: Let's be real

I can just imagine a government official somewhere telling Microsoft that without a bribe, they would convert to linux…

Well, now it does not sound so outlandish, 15 years ago it was practically impossible.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Let's be real it is bent everywhere

Last month I was asked to tender for a Government contract, remember the promise from David Cameron that small businesses would get a bite of the cherry?

I was sent a specification sheet, which pretty much said nothing except the company already providing the service will be required to remove all their services and hardware and that it would be necessary for me to install everything new and provide an annual service. I was told they needed the quotation in 4 days!

The company already providing the service was also putting in a tender. Straight away I was at a disadvantage, my costs would reflect the newly installed hardware, the company on site already had theirs in place.

It got worse, I asked where the site was, they wouldn't tell me, I asked if I could do a site survey, they said no due to security issues. I asked how many times did the current company attend last year, they didn't know, I asked what hardware was installed, they wouldn't tell me, I asked how long the current company spent on site, they wouldn't tell me eye etc.

At this point I realised that I was just making up the numbers. A little research later, with google, I found that the company asking me to quote was the company providing the services, I was also able to identify the site in question, so so much for security concerns.

Basically, the tender had already been decided before I was asked to make up the '3 quotes' numbers. Does the Ministry of Defence know about this, doubtful, but someone is making money out of it and it ain't legal.

So much for a fair bite of the cherry.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Let's be real it is bent everywhere

Posting anonymously so I don't get into trouble but if you want to get government contracts you need to undervalue the quote, under deliver and then charge over the odds for technical support to fix problems or add features that weren't delivered from the original brief. This is extremely common and the buyers never seem to learn. Just read on DfTs Shared Service Center as a perfect example.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Let's be real

It would take 15 years and you still wouldn't be finished - and it would cost tens of millions more - just look at Munich....

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Pint

Re: able to land a government contract without a bribe, anywhere in the world.

especially in the America, The Land of Free [Bribes/Brides/whatever] :)

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Windows

Not sure whats worse, their partners bribing officials or the way they indoctrinate young kids to use their shit software via educators who aren't educated (or don't care) about software freedom.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, third world countries are terrible. And so is the crap on One Laptop Per Child - totally agree with you.

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Megaphone

If this is true (and of course it may very well be) it, in common with other instances we........

..............have seen, illustrates the potential problems with the "reward programs" that many of the majors use with their channel partners inasmuch as it can under certain circumstances encourage what we might refer to as corruption "undesirable behaviour". It is in its own way analogous to the bonus/reward culture within banking and finance - and I do not imagine that many of us have forgotten where that got us!

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Why is the DoJ involved with this? Yes Microsoft is an American company but the "offences" are committed in other countries so surely it is the remit of those countries to investigate such as the EU to investigate any corruption charges in Italy?

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Re: Why is the DoJ involved with this?

Because if you are an American based company it is against US law to extend a bribe anywhere, but especially in foreign countries. The intention of the law is to give companies an excuse to not engage in bribery in those countries where "it is the custom."

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Headmaster

@Tom 13 "it is against US law to extend a bribe anywhere" Entirely correct as those........

...........of us with long enough memories to recall the Lockheed bribery scandals in Japan in the 1970s would readily confirm. It was precisely that plane-makers willingness to bribe world+wife+dog that led to the relevant changes in US law that made offering bribes, even to foreign citizens in another country, a criminal offence for US-based companies.

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Pint

Re: against US law to extend a bribe anywhere, but especially in foreign countries

Kurt Vonnegut would be proud of you if he was still alive, dude! // That made my day :)

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