I was stupefied to observe Alliance Global Services, a privately-held IT services shop, join the Satyam ambulance-chasers by promoting it's "IT Partners Bill Of Rights". Alliance is hoping to get 100,000 signatures supporting some version of its bill of rights and to have the document serve as a platform to establish a "global ethic consortium for IT services vendors":
- The right to demand transparency throughout every step of an engagement — from sales to contracting to delivery and termination
- The right to fully understand the nature and character of an IT partner and the service that it provides to them
- The right to fully understand the financial viability of an IT partner
- The right to be made aware of any impending legal charges against an IT partner, should they arise, as soon as they occur
- The right to arrive at a mutually agreed upon definition of the term "trusted partner"
- The right to expect a clear contract that defines fees and expenses up front before any agreement is signed
- The right to terminate a relationship with no financial penalty in the event of any admitted fraudulent activity
- The right to demand the existence of a truly independent board of advisers
- The right to expect the presence of an independent financial auditor accompanied by a set of checks and balances
- The right to demand accountability for any actions taken within the scope of a technology project or as part of a firm's broader business practices
While I cannot argue with any client requesting any of the above from an IT vendor (or any client of any services supplier in any industry for that matter), this media-marketing is shamelessly exploiting the Satyam situation to market its own services and take advantage of media-hounds hungry to add fuel to this controversy. One vendor cooks the books and suddenly the whole world of offshore outsourcing is crooked? Would this action really have prevented Ramalinga Raju doing what he did? Puh-lease!