Focus Technologies Imaging Services was fined $3.1 million USD for illegal outsourcing of a New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) and New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) contract to a company based in Mumbai, India.
The US IT company admitted that they violated New York federal laws by illegally outsourcing work to a subcontractor in 2008 and 2009. According to authorities, the deal was illegal because Focus shared confidential information to unauthorized employees of the subcontractor. Only companies with workers who have passed a thorough criminal background check and which is working inside the state is allowed to deal with such information. Moreover, as stated in the contract, the half of the labour force hired in the contract should be people with disabilities. Focus’ failure to follow these terms entailed another red flag.
The company is owned solely by Chuck Tobin and is located in Menands, New York. It outsourced work to digitise and index properly an estimated of 22 million fingerprint cards into a database which involves obtaining personal data like Social Security numbers, date of birth and basic physical characteristics.
Inspector general, Catherine Leahy Scott, stated that “This Capital Region company entered into a covert and unauthorized outsourcing that swelled its profits while disregarding its commitment to employing individuals with disabilities, as required by its contract with the state”
After the initial report about the issue surfaced, Focus apologized in a statement saying, “Eight years ago, the company took on a state contract and made a mistake in its administration. Today, we acknowledge this error in judgment and sincerely apologize. He also stated that, “None of our current customers and contracts has ever been impacted by the incident.”
Focus agreed to pay penalties and fees under an agreement with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Authorities stressed that the Mumbai-based subcontractor was fully unaware of the illegal nature of the contract and is in full cooperation with all related investigation.