back to article India's peak IT body tells outsourcers to check contract cancellation fine print while Coronavirus reigns

NASSCOM – India's peak body for the IT and business process outsourcing industries – has advised its members to read the fine print in their services contracts so they understand the implications of a long lockdown that leaves them unable to deliver. The National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) is an …

  1. tip pc Silver badge

    Expectation

    i'd expect their staff to work from home if possible and customers should expect degraded service.

    There will also be an uptick in fraud as criminals take the opportunity to exfiltrate data from previously securely controlled (as in staff hand over phones etc before entering the work room and no data is allowed out of those rooms except via the controlled systems) systems.

    there is no point taking undue risk.

  2. Flak

    It is always bad when the contracts come out

    A wise former colleague once said that contracts should be carefully written and then put in a drawer, with both parties acting in good faith based on the spirit of the agreement.

    When a contract comes back out of the drawer, it is because the relationship has shifted and it needs to stand up to scrutiny.

    From personal experience I have learned that at that point it will be hard, if not impossible, to change the terms to both parties' satisfaction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is always bad when the contracts come out

      What about when a contract has been drawn up in bad faith?

      For example when the employer has clauses it intends never to comply with.

      Then the contract is null and void, the employer is liable for fraud, and the employee for compensation.

    2. Melanie Winiger

      Re: It is always bad when the contracts come out

      Lovely phrase - forgive my ignorance after all these years, but I'm going to put it in my "Useful Quotes" folder:

      "contracts should be carefully written and then put in a drawer, with both parties acting in good faith based on the spirit of the agreement."

  3. Doctor Huh?

    Contingency plans

    "We are also putting a robust business continuity plan – powered by next-generation technologies – in place to combat the situation, while ensuring safety of all."

    I can translate this into current American vernacular:

    "We have a beautiful plan. A strong plan. The best plan."

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Contingency plans

      And "A plan that I thought of first, before anyone else".

      1. chuBb. Bronze badge

        Re: Contingency plans

        "I knew it was a plan before they were saying its a plan, I just get this"

        I wonder what is less useless in a crisis a carton of sunny d with a bag of candyfloss ontop with a sharpy gaffer taped to it, or trump...

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Contingency plans

          Customer: There's a plan?

          Salesman: Don't know, I haven't stopped talking yet.

          Icon - Brainy specs as it's paraphrased from a episode of Doctor Who (Before it went woke).

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Contingency plans

      "I have a cunning plan..."

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Contingency plans

        You're Domonic Cummings and I claim my £5

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Contingency plans

          Demonic Cummings is more of a solutions man than a plan guy, I'm betting.

  4. The Vociferous Time Waster

    I for one...

    I for one can't help but laugh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Waste of Time Re: I for one...

      I'm sorry but its not a laughing matter.

      The problem is that many of the global fortune 500 have relied too heavily on outsourcing and they never really read or understood the fine print. So while many of their employees who already have vpn access and can work from home. Their contractors cannot, nor can they come in to the offices.

      So those companies where a major portion of their hands on workforce are running on a skeleton crew, praying that nothing breaks.

      Hang on for the ensuing shit storm that we all pray never happens.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't most contracts

    have a "force majeure" clause covering stuff like wars or pandemics?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Don't most contracts

      It's up to whichever court's law the contract is written under as to whether a pandemic is force majeure. For example, UK law, which is used in many contracts, has no concept of force majeure. China is almost certain to declare it such as it lets all their companies off the hook. Same with India. If the contract is written under US law, though, you might struggle.

      IANAL, this comment is for entertainment purposes only, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't most contracts

        most US companies contracts that I have seen require the contracts to be effective under a state in the US. That state might be either the state its registered, or where ever its corporate legal is based.

        These contracts are almost always signed under Californian, Massachusetts or Delaware jurisdictions. That would be for both TCS or HCL.

      2. John Jennings

        Re: Don't most contracts

        The comment on UK law and the lack of force majeure is not strictly true.

        There is no common law on the subject - however - it is usual to have force majeure defined within the contract - and from there have the concept.

        You likely have it in your mortgage contract. like this: https://www.virginmoneyukplc.com/resources/df9d1f11-f5ea-4532-a0cb-20fc419e2f6f/Collection_Account_Declaration_of_Trust.pdf

        It is typical in many significant contracts - its how its defined is the kicker in the UK, as it really depends upon the particular contract.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Don't most contracts

          "The comment on UK law and the lack of force majeure is not strictly true."

          I was under the impression we have the concept of 'Act of God', but not 'force majeure'. The two concepts are subtly different, and this distinction might be vitally important in contract law.

          Edit: for example, these lawyers seem to think it doesn't exist in English law as a concept.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing critical functions

    This comment isn't about India; what follows could apply to outsourcing within the same nation. Nobody loves your business and your customers more than your employees. Nobody will be more willing to go the extra mile, including taking personal risks, than your own employees. Partly from loyalty, partly for fear of being fired, partly because of pride in their job. If you outsource a mission-critical function to another company you are at risk when the fertilizer hits the ventilation system and the provider has to decide who is more important.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know Bangalore has world class enterprise internet connectivity, but how is that consumer sector looking? I was always under the impression that most people prefer their 3g/4g connections these days.

    Most millenials here don't even bother with landlines.

    1. Melanie Winiger

      True "Why do you need a Laptop Dad?" is a phrase I'm starting to hear from the genius know-alls that are called "my late teenage kids"

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