Nasscom plans regulatory body

By agencies   |   Friday, 12 May 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: To deal with the growth in the IT industry and potential problems of data security and privacy, likely to arise in the future, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) is setting up an independent self regulating organization (SRO) to monitor the industry.

Despite the lack of any regulatory structure, there are a number of regulations governing the functioning of IT and BPO companies. For instance, in the U.S, there are both federal level and state level regulations governing the working of BPOs.

If a BPO is working for a bank, then the banking regulator regulates some of its functions. Nasscom wants to create global SRO, which will help the IT and BPO industry in creating certain standards and code of conduct.

Sunil Mehta, Vice President, Nasscom, says, “The Nasscom Executive Council, recently, approved the formation of this body, and the initial cost of functioning will be borne by Nasscom. Subsequently, the body is expected to be self sustaining.”

The compliance with the code will be initially voluntary, but is expected to become mandatory for members in due course of time. The SRO will also conduct independent audits to determine whether its members are following the code of conduct.

For minor breaches, members will be given time to correct, but for major breaches, the members could be suspended from membership. The objective is to create a benchmark, which, once adopted by the top IT and BPO companies, will help small and medium sized companies adhere to standards.

Mehta added, “The SRO may generate revenues for it’s functioning through training and audit of processes. Small and medium sized companies will certainly benefit from training on new and emerging standards.

The SRO will have an independent board and have an arms length relationship with Nasscom, once its fully established. The board will be made up of experts in the area of data security and privacy. The Ministry of Information and Technology is likely to have representatives on the board of the SRO.

Nasscom is looking not only at Indian companies but also US or European companies to become members of the SRO. The SRO wants to drive the global standards and benchmarks coming up for operation in the IT and BPO space.

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