A US contractor Focused Technologies Imaging Services and its owner Charles Tobin and former co-owner Julie Benware, have been ordered hefty fine of $3.1 million for illegally outsourcing government-funded work to a subcontractor based in India.
Though, it’s certainly not illegal, per se, to offshore work to India. However, it is entirely possible for a specific contract to be illegally offshore to India, or indeed anywhere else. The agreement arises from a $3.45 million contract in 2008-09 between the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to digitise and index approximately 22 million fingerprint cards into a searchable database.
Authorities also say the outsourcing was illegal because Focused Services sent personal information of over 16 million people to the Mumbai subcontractor who was unauthorized to receive the information. The outsourcing also resulted in the failure of Focused to adhere to a rule that over 50% of the labour hours of the contract be performed by individuals with disabilities. Overall, the Indian company performed approximately 37.5% of the work on the contract.
Authorities, however say that the India Company involved was unaware it had been given the work illegally, fully and voluntarily cooperated with the investigation, and authorities stressed that there is no evidence the Indian company or its employees knew it had obtained the work illegally.
The company executives have agreed to pay the penalty and fees under an agreement with the New York State Attorney General, after admitting that they had violated New York federal laws by outsourcing the work to the sub-contractor based in Mumbai in 2008 and 2009. As per the agreement, Focus and Charles Tobin also produced false records to conceal the outsourcing. They will pay $3.05 million in penalties, fees and costs, and Julie Benware will pay $50,000.