IT firm’s clients include cantons and cities

IT: where little buttons mean big business Keystone

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has expanded its investigation into the alleged corruption affair at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The IT company accused of bribing a SECO employee also has contracts with six cantons and 70 municipalities.

This content was published on February 2, 2014 - 17:58 and agencies

According to a report in the Sunday newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, the IT firm in question is based in Zug. Its clients include: cantons Zug, Zurich, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Graubünden and Appenzell Outer Rhoden; the cities Bern, Zurich and Lucerne; and dozens of towns.

The company is suspected of bribing a SECO employee with VIP tickets and other gifts in order to get IT contracts related to unemployment insurance. The IT firm is also said to have billed SECO for too many working hours.

In related news, theSchweiz am Sonntag Sunday newspaper pointed out that the IT company had co-sponsored an event with SECO. The SECO employee has been temporarily suspended.

As confirmed by the Swiss News Agency on Sunday, the Federal Prosecutor's Office decided to expand its investigation into the matter based on previous incidents involving IT contracts at the Federal Environment Office as well as at the Swiss tax authority.

In 2012, the Environment Office put the brakes on an IT project in connection with a similar corruption probe by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office. The loss was valued at CHF6.1 million ($6.7 million); the responsible IT head was dismissed, and an additional five external people are reportedly under investigation.

Also in 2012, the federal tax authority dismissed a director responsible for handing out IT contracts. According to the prosecutor’s office, he and two external people are now under investigation; the reported loss is more than CHF100 million.

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