Does bribery result in bad IT?

Big news in IT a few months ago was the announcement of the arrest and charging of an IT professional who had links to US President Obama’s top pick as CIO/CTO for the US federal government. He (not Obama’s man) is charged with allegedly taking bribes from a vendor to influence his purchasing decisions, pay for products never delivered and paying for ghost staff. There was a news item a few months ago which identified a group of Canadian IT staffing companies as being in collusion with a federal government office to fix prices and inflate contracts. All of this got me wondering about how much bad IT out there is the result of bribery, collusion and other forms of illegal business practices. When you’re faced with poorly performing IT systems at work – how much of it is the result of someone in the decision making food-chain taking bribes. Not all bad IT is the result of bribery. But the next time you get told that there’s no money to buy you that new and sorely needed piece of computer equipment you might want to wonder where the money went. Questionable purchasing decisions aren’t made just within the IT department. There are many others in the decision making food-chain who can take part. Are decisions for technology based on sound reasoning or questionable¬† influence from vendors?

Dean

P.S. – This just in (04/15/09):

7 Ottawa tech firms charged with bid-rigging – and the plot thickens . . . and gets deeper and deeper!

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