Anonymous complaint prompted Microsoft to cancel EOH contract

EOH Holdings Ltd, the South African IT company reeling after an anonymous complaint prompted Microsoft Corp to abruptly cancel a contract, has created an app that will make that process easier for future whistleblowers.

Expose-It, which was made available for download on Monday, enables those with sensitive information about their company or organization to pass it on to relevant authorities without fear of being identified.

The app is designed to encourage “the safe, anonymous exposure of wrongdoing, both within EOH and without,” chief executive officer Stephen van Coller said in an email to employees.

The irony of the timing won’t be lost on staff. EOH shares plunged last week after Microsoft ended its association with the South African company.

Johannesburg’s TechCentral website reported that a whistle blower’s allegations about a South African government software deal were behind the US software giant’s decision.

EOH’s public sector contracts have long been a matter of scrutiny, and the company said on Tuesday that it’s probing all such deals over the past five years with the help of a law firm.

Van Coller, a former executive of lender Absa Group Ltd. and wireless carrier MTN Group Ltd., was brought in by EOH last year partly to restore the company’s reputation and boost corporate governance. The shares have plunged 77% in the past 12 months, and are the worst performers on South Africa’s benchmark index in 2019.

“Compliance is critical to our reputation, but as the old saying goes, culture eats governance for breakfast,” Van Coller said in his email introducing Expose-It to staff. The app “will help further elevate our corporate culture.”

Read: Come forward so we can root out unethical business practices: EOH CEO

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Anonymous complaint prompted Microsoft to cancel EOH contract