KOCHI: In a major development, the Kerala government has barred PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Private Limited from participating in any project of the Electronics and Information Technology Department for a period of two years.
An order dated November 27 has been issued in this regard by the state government. The order said PwC has been barred after it was found that it committed serious lapses in selection of resource persons for the Space Park project.
"KSITIL has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Private Limited as the PMU in Space Park Project and executed an agreement with them. As per the terms of the contract, the entire responsibility to satisfy the credentials and integrity of the resource persons lies upon PwC. However, it is seen that PwC did not perform a comprehensive background check including educational qualifications in case of appointing an individual in the PMU of Space Park. This is a serious breach of contractual obligations on the part of PwC," the order said.
"In the above context, the government has decided to bar PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Limited from participating in projects in the Electronics and Information Technology Department for a period of two years from the date of issuance of this order, owing to the failure on the part of PwC in ensuring due diligence in the deployment of resources," the order said. The Kerala government has also decided not to extend the contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Limited as the Project Management Unit (PMU) for the Kerala Fibre Optic Network Ltd (KFON) project after the termination of the present term of contract on November 30.
It was PwC that cleared the appointment of Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh as Operations Manager of the Space Park based on the alleged recommendation of the Chief Minister's former principal secretary M Sivasankar, who is also facing a probe in the case. The investigation also found that Swapna's graduation certificate was fake.