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CSC tells execs to stay quiet on Australian bribery scandal

Memo to senior leaders says 'we know nuh-think!' about ServiceMesh mess

Senior executives at CSC have been told to say nothing substantive about the bribery scandal surrounding ServiceMesh, the source of CSC's “Agility” technology.

Police in the Australian State of New South Wales recently charged a former employee of the Commonwealth Bank with receiving improper payments. Those payments are alleged to have come from the ACE Foundation, an entity controlled by then-ServiceMesh-head Eric Pulier, and to have been made in return for conducting an non-competitive procurement process to secure business with the bank for ServiceMesh. The Commonwealth Bank is well-known in financial services circles globally, so was a decent prize for ServiceMesh to win. Having the Bank on its customer roster may have contributed to the company's 2013 acquisition by CSC.

A memo to senior CSC executives sighted by The Register states that CSC's position on the matter is to say no more than the following:

“We take this matter very seriously and are cooperating fully with all relevant authorities.  CSC acquired ServiceMesh in late 2013 and we have begun our own investigation into these allegations. CSC strives to conduct its business globally with the highest degree of integrity and will ensure that these concerns are thoroughly and promptly addressed.”

Even that anodyne statement “is for internal use only” and execs are asked to “please use discretion when communicating with your teams and clients.”

The memo also offers the following “messaging” CSC people are to use when discussing the matter, within or without the company.

CSC is cooperating fully with the relevant authorities and will work with great determination to quickly and thoroughly get to the bottom of this matter – which involves ServiceMesh, acquired by CSC in late 2013. We are fully committed to ethical business practices and do not tolerate activities such as those contained in the allegations.
  • With regard to media reports, we cannot comment beyond our public statement or speculate on the matter.
  • The authorities do not explicitly state or imply wrongdoing by CSC.
  • CSC promotes and is fully committed to ethical business practices.
  • CSC acquired ServiceMesh in late 2013.
  • We take this matter very seriously and, in addition to our own investigation, we are cooperating fully with all relevant authorities.
  • During his suspension from CSC, Mr. Pulier will not be available for any CSC or client business activity.
  • This ACE Foundation, which was formed by Mr. Pulier in 2014, is an organization not related to CSC.
  • CSC is committed to Agility, the core ServiceMesh technology, and those who work on it every day. Agility remains a valuable tool for enterprises that are moving to the hybrid cloud – one that’s unique in the industry.
  • Agility is helping CSC to continue its transformation into a next-generation IT leader and to strategically enable our clients migrate their applications into cloud computing environments.

That CSC feels the need to create such a memo suggests the company knows this incident has the potential to damage its reputation, starting today as the case returns to Australian courts in a few hours, as of the time of writing.

The memo offers personal phone numbers for half a dozen senior CSC execs, some at the very highest executive levels of the company, should managers wish to discuss the matter further. ®

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