SINGAPORE - Singapore's Central Provident Fund (CPF) board and IBM are believed to be close to settling the multi-million dollar lawsuit that has tainted their relationship.
The legal dispute saw the CPF sue IBM over an IT project which CPF had contracted to the computer giant in 2001. IBM is counter-suing but now a breakthrough in talks may mean a resolution is inked shortly.
A lawyer, who wished to remain anonymous, said both sides were now in intense discussions to try to settle the lawsuit amicably.
While the terms of the settlement are still unclear, the lawyer said it would likely mean the end of IBM’s involvement in this particular IT contract. However, it wasn’t clear at this stage whether IBM and the CPF would work together on future projects.
The legal dispute dates back to December 2001 when IBM bid for – and won – a contract to design and build a new IT system for the CPF worth over US$32m.
After one year the relationship turned sour, when IBM revealed it would take longer to complete the work and was over budget. The CPF decided to terminate the contract.
In documents filed with the High Court, the CPF was looking to claim damages amounting to more than $40m, which it viewed as the loss
and damage it suffered as a result of IBM’s failure to deliver the new computing system on time.
IBM disputes the claim alleging that the fault lay with the CPF. It claimed it was unable to deliver the new IT system on time as the CPF kept changing its mind over what it originally wanted. It is counter-claiming $38m.
The CPF maintains its position that IBM had failed to undertake the design, development and management of the IT system in a professional and competent manner.
IBM refused to comment and the CPF could not be reached before deadline.
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