EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.22.18

‘Efficiency’ in Action: António Campinos is Sending Jobs Abroad, Then Gagging Critics

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

He has also been blocking comments in his very first blog post (some comments posted, but none have appeared)

No comments for EPO

Summary: Campinos criticised for the decision to outsource EUIPO IT maintenance services to India as he starts blocking blog comments to muzzle his critics

THE former French-Portuguese (dual nationality) banker António Campinos, the new President of the EPO, is rumoured to be planning layoffs; a hiring freeze at the EPO has already been implemented. What can his policies at EUIPO, from which he arrived exactly 3 weeks ago, teach us?

In 2010 EUIPO awarded the contract for maintaining and developing its IT systems to a Spanish company UTE. The contract provided employment for about 150 people locally in Alicante.

The contract with UTE was originally supposed to run for eight years, but in 2017 EUIPO’s IT maintenance services were put out to tender again because, according to reports in the Spanish press, the Director of EUIPO at the time, Mr. Antonio Campinos, wanted to conclude a new contract before he left EUIPO to take up his next job as head of the EPO in Munich.

In November 2017 it was announced that the contract had been awarded to Sopra Steria, a multinational with corporate headquarters in France and worldwide operations including facilities in India which it intended to use for providing IT maintenance services to EUIPO.

It was reported that EUIPO’s decision to outsource its IT maintenance services to India was likely to cause the loss of around 150 jobs in Alicante.

The Spanish MEP Marina Albiol Guzmán criticised this decision in the European Parliament and submitted a written question to the European Commission in November 2017.

E-007318-17
Question for written answer to the Commission
Rule 130
Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL)

Subject: Offshoring of EUIPO computer services

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), one of the decentralised EU agencies, based in Alicante, recently awarded the contract for maintaining and developing its computer systems to Sopra Steria, a company that will provide its services from its facilities in India.
With this decision, some 150 people who used to perform those duties in Alicante will lose their jobs.

— Does the Commission consider the offshoring of services to outside the EU by European agencies proper?

— Does this sort of decision help the decentralised EU agencies to achieve their goals, such as to ‘help make Europe more competitive and a better place to live and work, thus serving the interests of EU residents as a whole’?

The vacuous answer given by Elzbieta Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission stated that there was no reason to believe that the decision had violated the applicable procurement rules.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is an agency with legal, administrative and financial autonomy, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 on the European Union trade mark. This autonomy includes the power to award contracts for Information Technology (IT) projects, subject to the public procurement rules which apply to all EU institutions, including agencies. These rules do not provide the possibility for EUIPO to exclude tenderers on the basis of the geographical location of its staff. The Commission has no reasons to believe that the decision of the EUIPO to award the contract concerned to Sopra Steria (a company with headquarters in France) would have violated the public procurement rules.

Criticism of the outsourcing decision and the predicted loss of 150 jobs in Alicante was expressed in the local and national press.

EUIPO outsourcing

The leading national daily El Mundo reported on the intervention of MEP Marina Albiol Guzmán in the European Parliament.

EUIPO outsourcing

Albiol Guzmán and Miguel Ángel Pavón, the leader of “Guanyar Alicant”, a local Alicante-based group linked to Podemos and the United Left, issued a statement criticising the decision and calling it “unethical” because it transferred work associated with the EU agency EUIPO “to countries where salaries are cheaper and labour legislation is less strict”.

EUIPO outsourcing

In December 2017, El Mundo reported that following Albiol Guzmán’s complaint to the European Parliament Campinos tried to justify the outsourcing decision with a blog post published on his personal EUIPO blog. However, after a number of comments critical of the decision were posted, he decided to block the posting of further comments claiming that the professionalism of EUIPO staff was being called into question.

EUIPO outsourcing

Campinos cierra los comentarios críticos en su blog

El director ejecutivo de la Oficina de Propiedad Intelectual de la Unión Europea (Euipo), el portugués Antonio Campinos, trató de dar explicaciones sobre la externalización de los servicios informáticos a la India en su blog personal «Time Out», al que tienen acceso tanto los trabajadores internos como los externos de la agencia. Lo hizo un día después de la denuncia de la eurodiputada Marina Albiol en la Parlamento Europeo con un post que llevaba por título «On Procurement and Outsourcing».
Campinos aseguró que la decisión se basó en la mejor opción «calidad-precio» según un comité de evaluación y de acuerdo con la legislación europea. También aseguró que muchas empresas europeas externalizan sus servicios en un mercado global y que estas prácticas empresariales pueden contribuir a la creación de puestos de trabajo y riqueza en el interior de Europa.
Desde primera hora de la mañana del día siguiente se publicaron comentarios a este post tanto de trabajadores de la Euipo (funcionarios europeos) como de trabajadores subcontratados e incluso miembros del comité de empresa.
Los comentarios generalizados no ponían duda la legalidad de la externalización de los servicios de mantenimiento informático a otros países y continentes, como la India, pero sí la falta de ética de la decisión. Alguno le recordó que «no aprendemos del desastre de externalización» a la República de Mauricio hace 10 años. Otros hablaron de las elecciones sindicales en la oficina. Salió al paso uno de los miembros del «comité de personal» que en su segundo comentario aludió a estas situaciones, «que, aunque lamentables según un criterio de política social, son legales».
No faltaron apelativos como el de «colonialismo del siglo XXI» o quienes explicaron que no tiene sentido a pedir que se registren las marcas en España y la UE cuando la misma oficina tiene un mantenimiento desde India. Incluso un comentario le recordó a Campinos que Alicante le hizo un «carril bici (no exento de críticas) pagado con los impuestos de muchos de los que hoy se quedan en la calle».
Tras 17 comentarios, Campinos cerró la posibilidad de publicar más apelando al respeto que merecen los trabajadores de la Euipo cuya profesionalidad se cuestionaba.

Translation:

Campinos shuts down critical comments on his blog
The Director of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the Portuguese Antonio Campinos, tried to explain the outsourcing of IT services to India in his personal blog “Time Out”, which is accessible to both internal and external workers of the agency. He did this on the day after Marina Albiol’s complaint to the European Parliament with a blog post entitled “On Procurement and Outsourcing”
Campinos said that the decision was based on the best “quality-price” option according to an evaluation committee and in accordance with European legislation. He also said that many European companies outsource their services to a global market and that these business practices can contribute to the creation of jobs and wealth within Europe.
From early the next morning, comments to this blog post were submitted by EUIPO staff (EU officials) and subcontracters and even members of the staff committee.
In general the comments did not question the legality of outsourcing IT maintenance services to other countries and continents, such as India, but rather the lack of ethics in the decision making. Some reminded him that “we have not learned from the outsourcing disaster” to the Republic of Mauritius 10 years ago. Others talked about the union elections in the office.
One of the members of the staff committee spoke out and referred in a follow-on comment to these situations “which despite being regrettable from a social policy perspective, are legal”.
There was no shortage of comments referring to “21st century colonialism” or arguing that there is little point in requesting trademarks to be registered in Spain and the EU when the same office has its IT maintenance carried out in India. One comment even reminded Campinos that Alicante had provided him with a “bicycle lane (not without criticism) paid for by the taxes of many of those who are now on the street”.
After 17 comments, Campinos disabled the publication of further comments, appealing to the respect deserved by EUIPO staff whose professionalism was being called into question.

The Spanish media subsequently reported that the elected representatives of the local political group “Guanyar Alicant” decided to boycott EUIPO’s Christmas cocktail party in protest against what they condemned as its “ethically reprehensible” employment policy.

EUIPO outsourcing

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/2/2019: digiKam 6.0.0, Cockpit 188, Mesa 19.0 RC5

    Links for the day



  2. How Long Can the EPO Bend the Rules Before the Avalanche of Invalid Software Patents?

    A 35 U.S.C. § 101/SCOTUS moment in Europe will likely squash loads of abstract European Patents granted by the EPO; shouldn’t the EPO foresee this and immediately cease granting such obviously bogus patents, whose main beneficiary is a bunch of patent trolls?



  3. Battistelli Trashed 223 Millions (of Stakeholders' Euros) on a System That Destroyed the European Patent Office and Made Few Private Corporations a Lot Richer

    A quarter of a billion euros later the EPO finally admits in private that this was a massive failure



  4. Links 19/2/2019: Mesa 18.3.4, Cutelyst 2.7.0, Plasma Pass 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  5. What Happened in the United States Now Happens in Europe: Lots of Patents Turn Out to Be Bunk, Fake, Bogus, Invalid and Thus Worthless

    Worthless patents — not opposition to such patents — are the greatest threat to the legitimacy of the patent system, yet bureaucrats fail to heed the warning in the name of short-term profits



  6. Stephen Rowan's and Nellie Simon's Letter to EPO Staff: eDossier Has “Not Reached the Required Quality Levels.”

    We've just commented on it; here is the raw letter in full, explaining that eDossier and related frameworks will be abandoned entirely and indefinitely within less than a fortnight



  7. Search Matters Not at the European Patent Office

    The EPO has found out that "System Battistelli" has been catastrophic for the quality of patents; it stops short of openly admitting it as such and in fact it keeps the message strictly confidential (explained to insiders, who will inevitably notice a system being abandoned)



  8. António Campinos Still Needs to Undo Battistelli's Union-Busting Activities at the EPO

    Solidarity and support for Laurent Prunier are needed because the new French president lacks empathy even for fellow Frenchmen whose sole 'crime' is that they represented EPO staff



  9. Links 18/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC7, RISC-V Spreading Fast

    Links for the day



  10. António Campinos Still Needs to Hold Team Battistelli Accountable for Illegally Bringing Weapons to the EPO

    It is imperative that, in order to repair the reputation of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos should pursue accountability for the managers who brought Benalla and firearms to the Office (very serious breach of German law, jail sentence included)



  11. Links 17/2/2019: Compiz 0.9.14.0, Geary 0.13.0, GNU FreeDink 109.6, Debian 9.8, Texinfo 6.6

    Links for the day



  12. Amazon's Patent Policy Should be Enough of a Reason to Boycott Amazon and AWS

    There are many things to criticise Amazon and its founder for; but rarely does the mainstream media bring up the company's appalling patent policy



  13. Don't Use Cloudflare Because You Impose This on People Who Least Want It

    Reasons to stop making the World Wide Web so heavily dependent on some dubious companies like Cloudflare, which already has a worrisome track record



  14. How Many/Most EPO Examiners View 'President' António Campinos

    Based on what readers/insiders have told us, there’s a prevalent perception that António Campinos is afraid of (thus controlled/directed by) Bergot, who is still doing Battistelli’s biddings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  15. Techrights' Priorities Over the Years

    An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism



  16. Courts in Disagreement: Warning on Wrongly-Granted European Patents and the Looming Collapse of All Software Patents in Europe

    By devaluing patents and reducing their perceived worth (as is happening in China and Europe) patent offices risk decreasing participation in the very system they fundamentally depend on



  17. Computing Will Not Necessarily Make the World a Better Place

    The vision of "happy world" (because each person has a so-called 'smart' 'phone') is a yuppie delusion that overlooks business models and corporate interests



  18. EPO Grants Fake European Patents -- Including Software Patents -- and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

    The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn't the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either



  19. Nobody But Patent Trolls and Litigators Will Benefit From the Corruption of the European Patent Office

    IAM, EPO leadership, Iancu and the rest of these raiders are enabling corruption and facilitating or supporting a racket; that money they collect comes at the expense of future victims of their "clients" or "customers" (that's what they call applicants, to whom they grant dubious monopolies as a matter of urgency)



  20. WSL is a Misleading Acronym/Name Because There's No Linux in It, It's Just Windows

    When Microsoft says "Linux" (as in "Microsoft loves Linux") what it actually means is Windows and/or Azure



  21. Links 16/2/2019: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4

    Links for the day



  22. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  23. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  24. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  25. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it



  26. Unitary Patent (UPC) is All About Imposing Patent Maximalists' Ideology of Greed and Self Interest on Courts in the Name of 'Unification' or 'Consistency' or 'Community'

    Pushers of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are upset that they don’t always get their way when independent judges get to decide; as it turns out, many European Patents are just fake patents, more so under António Campinos



  27. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part V: Mediapart Explains the 'Raid' Attempt, Reporters Without Borders Involved

    Mediapart, an investigative site that unearths a lot of incriminating things about Battistelli's former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, was the target of a raid attempt some weeks ago



  28. Links 13/2/2019: Tails 3.12.1, MongoDB Being Dumped

    Links for the day



  29. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part IV: Suspected Offenses of Forgery and Possible Falsification

    In a very underworld fashion, Benalla continues to break the law and create yet more scandals



  30. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part III: Mars, France Close Protection (Benalla's Family), and Russian Oligarchy

    An article which examines the business background of Benalla, the outrageous salaries, the severance indemnity pay, and contract with a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts