After 3 years, Infosys still can't fix MCA's system that started cracking under its watch
Infosys took over the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website from TCS to manage but has made a mess of it. The portal and services are still inaccessible on many occasions. Anguished users now want to know can we fix responsibility for the mess?
It is more than three year since Infosys Ltd, one of India's top IT companies, took over management of the portal and services offered by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCS). However, almost every other day, company secretaries (CS') chartered accountants (CAs), lenders and shareholders are crying hoarse for not being able to access the site or perform mandatory filing. In addition, there are security issues as well with the MCA portal. The question is why can't Infosys, one of India's most reputed corporate house, still fix the issue that it created? Why are users still facing several glitches for over three years, after Infosys took over management of the MCA portal?
In fact, even Amitabh Kant, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog, has blamed Infosys for the MCA malfunctioning. Here is a tweet from Mr Kant…
Moneylife highlighted on Thursday (Read: MCA services down, entrepreneurs can't register new company since past many days
), how several popular services offered by MCA are down and showing a page not found error. Taking note of the ire on Twitter, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, asked one Ravi Kalantri, who has been tweeting on the issue, to contact MCA Joint Secretary KVR Murthy. Following the tweet from the Minister, the MCA page for company registration displayed a message tendering apologies. However, there was no information about when the original webpage and thus the service would be restored.
Even as on Friday morning, three out of five top frequently used services on MCA website are still down and are showing a message, "Our apologies... The page you requested cannot be displayed."
"Register a new company" is among the top five most frequently used services on the MCA website. However, besides this two other webpages, for "Change Company Information" and "Compliance/Approval Filing" are also down.
CA Nikhil Vadia has also highlighted the security issues with the MCA portal managed by Infosys. On 1st April, he sent a message to Ms Sitharaman about inability to access MCA site unless one reduces security to lowest level. Here is his tweet and reply from the Minister...
However, nothing changed on the MCA site, and it continues to give nightmares to stakeholders. Mr Vadia says, "Even to my tweet the Minister has responded. But nothing is happening. MCA is one of the worst site."
Officials from Infosys were not immediately available for comment and we would incorporate their response, as and when we receive it.
It was supposed to be a simple handover between two of India's best and most reputed IT companies. But the MCA21 portal was down for months. As Moneylife has reported several times in during February 2013 to September 2013, the MCA21, the showpiece of e-Governance and corporate filing portal, which, for the first time had made all corporate filings available online, was found sputtering.
Fed up with a callous ministry and Infosys, a group of CS, CAs, CWAs, lawyers, companies and consultants then started an open petition on Change.org to highlight the issues they are facing everyday due to malfunction of MCA21 portal. The online petition, signed by 1,154 respondents was submitted to Sachin Pilot, the then Minister of Corporate Affairs.
At that time, Binoy Chacko of BG & Associates had said, “The difficulties created by MCA21 results in delays in company and LLP registrations and corporate compliance filings. This is resulting in huge penalty, duplicate fee payments, and waste of professional man-hours across country, delay of application or approval process at Registrar of Companies-ROC and MCA offices. Corporate compliance and governance system have come to a halt.”
Later in September 2013, Infosys accepted that there were some problems with MCA21 due to updation of its intrusion prevention system (IPS) signatures. (Read: Infosys explains why MCA21 has issues
An investigation is clearly in order, along with a change in how large IT contracts handed out by the government are structured or auctioned. Failure to deliver as promised must also have consequences. Users, who need to do mandatory filing cannot be kept on tenterhooks due to the failure from service provider's side. Like the stakeholders are punished with penalties for late filing, the service provider also must be asked to face the same music for causing hardship to users. Similarly, if the delays and problems are due to government apathy or the recalcitrance of sarkari officials, that too must have consequences, if it causes undue harassment to a person.
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