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October 12, 1995

BOUYGUES’ FORMER DATA PROCESSING CHIEF TIPS POLICE OFF

By CBR Staff Writer

Phan Van Quan, former data processing director at Bouygues SA, the construction company that has diversified into cellular telephony services, has revealed to public prosecutors the existence of Drapo, a secret software program written to defraud the government on the true cost of its public works projects, Liberation reported. Van Quan, who had been pursuing Bouygues for a year for rights to price-estimating software he wrote, which includes the fraudulent program, finally went to the police in Versailles, who have since made three seizures of evidence at the firm’s headquarters. Van Quan, 50, says he was laid off in 1993 when he refused to develop a new version of the software which has allowed Bouygues to defraud the state for 10 years. In the first seizure with prosecutors, Van Quan uncovered Drapo from a central IBM mainframe with a personal badge and two passwords amidst protest from Bouygues data processing director Alain Pouyat and scientific director Pierre Richard that it didn’t exist. Confronted with the evidence, M Richard backpedalled quickly, saying that the program served to betray competitors by sending them false information. In subsequent seizures, despite an apparent effort to erase Drapo files, police discovered a file showing how Bouygues and Campenon-Bernard doctored their figures to obtain the project for the new Metro station Eole in Paris.

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