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BT Ordered To Pay £1.3m Fine After MoD Fraud

BT has been caught cheating on the Ministry of Defence in a bid to meet call targets and has been ordered to pay £1.3 million after the fraud was put in the limelight by the National Audit Office at the telecom giant's call centre in Kettering.

The culprits have been sacked and the call centre closed after it was found that they called each other in an effort to meet their internal targets. BT has been the MoD main phone service provider since 1997 and the current contract is set to end by 2012.

The Private Finance Initiative deal that binds BT to the MoD is worth more than £3 billion and highlights the need to have a more stringent monitoring system in order to prevent abuse from government contractors like BT.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said that "The Defence Fixed Networks Integrated Project Team, which is responsible for managing the contract, has reviewed and strengthened their service assurance and management process, with the assistance of external independent advisors. These robust management controls should ensure that there is no recurrence of this fraud."

The NAO report said that it took so long for the scam to be uncovered because it did not significantly affect the quality of service in order to cause customers to complaint.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.