IT company accused of buying favours with tickets, wine and jobs
Tickets to big football matches, high quality wine and six-figure ‘consulting’ jobs are just some of the gifts that municipal employees received from the IT company Scan-Tech Security.
Scan-Tech Security is the company responsible for delivering passports to citizens in 67 municipalities.
As the lavishness of the gifts was revealed, many have said that the relationship between the company and municipal employees violates the rules.
“I see a pattern in which the company is trying to get as close a relationship as possible to selected municipal employees,” Sten Bønsing, associate professor of administrative law at Aalborg University told DR Nyheder, whose investigation uncovered internal documents showing that employees of the city of Copenhagen were treated to international football at Parken and lavish dinners, all on Scan-Tech’s tab.
Wine for work
Employees working for the passport section of the Høje-Taastrup municipality were treated to a case of red wine for demonstrating Scan-Tech’s system in a promotional video.
“These gifts are clearly beyond the limit of what you may receive as a public employee,” said Bønsing. We have strict rules in Denmark to prevent public employees winding up do deep in the pocket of a company that they cannot make decisions that are the right thing for the municipality.”
One employee in Høje-Taastrup was actually hired by Scan-Tech as a ‘consultant and paid 100,000 kroner to prepare manuals, test systems and demonstrate Scan-Tech systems for employees in other municipalities.
After Høje-Taastrup entered into a contract with Scan-Tech in 2012, the employee was paid and additional 22,000 kroner for several consulting assignments.
“Warning lights should go off when a public official is rewarded with such large sums for providing services to a supplier in the sane field where that employee works,” said Bønsing.
Just being friendly
Bjarne Jensen, the owner of Scan-Tech Security, defended his company’s use of the consultant in Høje-Taastrup.
“The employee in Høje-Taastrup has worked in their own time to create manuals for our systems and demonstrate them to three other municipalities in the use of the system,” he said. “This assures that our solution is used correctly when dealing with our most important work; creating passports for Danes.”
Officials in Høje-Taastrup were quick to point out that the employee paid by Scan-Tech as a consultant was not responsible for its decision to use Scan-Tech’s systems.
The employee stressed that they had received permission from higher ups in the municipality to work for Scan-Tech.
Jensen said that the wine that his company gifted to employees was meant as nothing more than a friendly “thank you” to municipal employees for working with the company during the development of its systems.
Jensen said that the football tickets to city of Copenhagen employees were “a one-off event, the end of a very intense installation process”.
The revelations of Scan-Tech Security’s questionable business practices come a few weeks after a scandal involving the IT company Atea, where several stand accused with bribing public officials to choose the company as a supplier.