In March 2018, a large-scale corruption scandal rocked the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. It involved the manipulation of procurement documents in digital format to favor private companies in price biddings. How exactly did the perpetrators game the system and how will this impact the way governments do business with private companies?
What exactly happened in Madhya Pradesh?
An internal report notified the Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam (MPJNL) that three bidding e-tenders for multi-village rural water supply schemes in Satna and Rajgarh districts were tampered to make two contracts from Hyderabad and Mumbai the lowest bidders, therefore increasing their chances of winning the bidding wars. This happened because the two bidders allegedly got a copy of the other vendors’ e-tenders, allowing them to make a few adjustments of their own.
The scam got its appropriate name “e-tender scam” and it didn’t end there. Experts discovered that six contracts from different departments of the Madhya Pradesh government were also exposed to further encourage the practice of insider rigging e-bids. Even the service providers in charge of storing the e-tenders admitted that the documents were in fact exposed and tampered with. This became a full blown-scandal, prompting the government to conduct massive investigations to try and eradicate e-tender scams.
Prevent Document Tampering with Digital Signing Service
Investigators unearthed this massive e-tender scam thanks to the use of Digital Signing Certificates. They concluded that the e-tenders were tampered because the documents showed an error in “signature and certificate validation status.” Thanks to Digital Signing Certificates, e-documents now has the same credibility and legal power as a physical document. Processing documents can now be done entirely online, reducing office resources and waiting times which then results to better services.
Knowing how crucial Digital Signing Certificates are to the global paperless initiative, GlobalSign made it easier for companies, governments, and organizations to sign e-documents using their innovative Digital Signing Service. Thanks to cloud technology, it’s now possible to digitally sign documents anywhere in the world where there’s reliable internet. Users can also digitally sign their documents on their desktops, laptops, and even their mobile devices. Signing documents is literally a few clicks away, and we have GlobalSign’s revolutionary Digital Signing Service to credit.
The rise of e-tender scams may be a big problem now in Madhya Pradesh, but it’s implications can reach globally. Expect these types of fraudulent activities to grow in the future. Fortunately, the solutions are within reach. Protecting e-documents is essential in a world aspiring to go paperless. Let’s all take this lesson and re-think how much we value cybersecurity in our daily operations.
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