KOCHI: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Swapna Suresh will now face fresh criminal charges as Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) has sought an explanation from the London-based consultancy for posting a candidate with a fake degree certificate for a government project under the IT portfolio of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.Managing director of KSITIL C Jayasankarprasad told TNIE that they had come across information on the fake degree certificate used by Swapna to secure the job. “We have sought an explanation from PwC for placing a candidate who had committed forgery. Once we get the explanation, we will lodge an official complaint with the police,” he said.
The KSITIL has decided to approach the police highlighting the forgery that paved the way for Swapna’s appointment as the operations manager of Space Park project under KSITIL. There have been allegations that Swapna managed to secure the job with the help of former IT secretary M Sivasankar who was also the chairman of KSITIL.
As per reports, Swapna had submitted a fake commerce degree certificate of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University to secure the job. Officials of KSITIL said though the background check of candidates including their qualification was a prerequisite for posting them for government projects on contract basis, this process was diluted in Swapna’s appointment in the key post.
The KSITIL had already made it clear that it was PwC which selected and deputed Swapna to the project.Earlier when TNIE enquired with KSITIL about the qualification of Swapna Suresh, Jayasankarprasad had said she was a graduate and the PwC appointed her for the project based on her experience in the UAE Consulate and a travel company. A check on the courses offered by the university on its website showed that there was no department of commerce and the courses were mainly in different technical streams.
Meanwhile, an inside source in KSITL said all contract recruitment for KSITIL projects was done only after conducting a written test and interview from a pool of applicants. Lately, the KSITIL called applications for the post of system administrator (Reference No. 60/KSITIL/RCT/2019/2972 dated 29/11/2019) on a contract basis for a period of one year for the Skill Delivery Platform Kerala (SDPK) project. “It has published a rank list also in this regard. This reveals that Swapna’s appointment was a backdoor one,” the source added.
In an official response, PwC said, “We have been taking temporary resources from Vision Technologies since 2014 and never faced such issues. The individual concerned was on the payroll of the third party agency, Vision Technologies, which provided her as a qualified resource to PwC for the short-term assignment with Kerala Space Park as per the requirement. Vision Technologies conducted the background verification for the said individual before hiring (her) through its verification agency, namely Knowy HR Solutions Private Limited. We are initiating appropriate action against Vision Technology & Staffing Solution Pvt Ltd.”
State to probe fake certificate issue
The state will also probe how Swapna Suresh, the second accused in the gold smuggling case, managed to get a job in one of the projects of IT department with a fake certificate. According to the chief minister, former principal secretary M Sivasankar was sacked because of the controversy over his links with the accused.
‘PwC issued lawyer’s affidavit during posting’
T’Puram: A senior officer with the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd said an affidavit of a lawyer was issued by the PwC when Swapna Suresh’s appointment was made. “In the affidavit, it has been certified that she had no criminal antecedents, leave alone the row over educational qualification.
At the same time, the crime branch has been probing her role in the forged sexual harassment complaint case and the investigation is still underway,” said the officer. Further, seven persons suggested by the PWC are on the roll in the K-Fon project launched with an objective of providing free high-speed Internet connection to over 20 lakh BPL families in Kerala. Besides, the feasibility report of the project is being prepared by the same agency. But this doesn’t mean that all other recruitments were made in this way. They are competent people and the KSITIL had crosschecked their competency, he said.