IT exec 'manipulated colleagues' in £22m contract award

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
10 February 2022

An IT executive who manipulated colleagues to ensure a company he was associated with won a £22m contract has been jailed.

City of London Police said Brian Chant, 62, of The Middle Way in Andover, Hampshire, received more than £474,000 in bribes from the company.

Chant was found guilty following a trial at Southwark Crown Court of bribery, money laundering and false accounting and on 1 February he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and a three-year company directorship ban.

Chant joined an Oxfordshire-based firm as interim chief information officer in 2011 but was soon made permanent in the role on a salary of £150,000.

One of Chant’s first recommendations was for the company to outsource its IT work and despite preparing a paper suggesting three firms, he pushed for one in particular, which went on to win the contract.

Chant had in fact contacted this company before he started as interim CIO and a series of emails showed him “navigating the IT company through the process of securing the contract”, said City of London Police.

Chant was dismissed from his role after problems emerged with delivery on the IT contract and issues with his management.

A separate HMRC investigation revealed payments between the IT company and Chant Consulting Ltd, of which Chant was listed as director.

Det Con Trevor Baker, from the City of London Police’s Fraud Operations Team, said: “I can only describe Chant’s actions as pure greed. He had a respectable, well-paid job – but clearly this was not enough for him.

“Even before he started his new job, Chant planted a seed in the mind of the IT company director, by approaching him with suggestions of new business for his company. Chant then manipulated his colleagues to ensure that this company won the contract, leaving a digital trail of emails which corroborated his guilt.

“Despite the overwhelming evidence, Chant refused to accept responsibility and instead wasted the public’s time and money through a six-week trial. Chant was eventually found guilty by a jury and has now faced justice for his crimes.”

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