March 30, 2016
By Jerry Levine, Albany LaborPress
Albany, NY – New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott have announced a groundbreaking $3.1 million agreement with Focused Technologies Imaging Services, LLC (“FTIS”), for unlawfully outsourcing government-funded work to a subcontractor based in Mumbai, India in 2008 and 2009.
The outsourcing was illegal because even though FTIS was required to perform the work at a warehouse in Albany, New York, FTIS unlawfully sent personal information of over 16 million people to a foreign business that was unauthorized to receive this information. The outsourcing also resulted in the failure of FTIS to adhere to a requirement that over 50% of the labor hours of the contract be performed by individuals with disabilities.
“The agreement sends a clear message: if you are a government contractor and you illegally ship jobs overseas, you will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Contractors have an obligation to follow the law and keep the promises they make to the State of New York.”
This is a first-of-its-kind agreement obtained by Attorney General Schneiderman concerning a government contractor illegally shipping jobs overseas.
“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. In doing so, the company circumvented virtually all contract provisions governing the handling of sensitive records to which they were entrusted,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will use all the resources at my disposal to relentlessly pursue State contractors who violate the law, and I thank Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his office for their partnership in bringing this matter to justice.”
FTIS was contracted to digitize and index approximately 22 million fingerprint cards and confidential information into a searchable database. Because of the confidential nature of the information, FTIS was required to perform all of the work in Albany, New York and it could only use employees that had passed a criminal background check. Additionally, FTIS was prohibited from subcontracting any of the work to any other entity.
In October 2008 and continuing to about September 2009, in violation of these security requirements, FTIS secretly retained a document-handling business located in Mumbai, India, to perform the tasks. Confidential information about Americans was uploaded onto a server to be accessed by employees of the Indian company in Mumbai for indexing. FTIS produced false records to conceal the outsourcing.
This is a perfect example why outsourcing of American Jobs, particularly concerning confidential information, must be stopped.