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Wipro has won a contract to maintain the system that provides e-mail, office software and internet facilities to members of the Scottish Parliament, but the contract has turned into a political issue.

Eighteen systems engineers from Bangalore-based Wipro Technologies have been providing IT infrastructure maintenance, development and a help-desk service for parliament's systems for over two years under a £5 million, five-year deal.
Although the contract is small compared with the £5.4 billion that the UK public sector spent on IT last year, the arrival of overseas IT workers in Scotland has been greeted with suspicion.

In Scotland , Wipro Technologies has come under intense political scrutiny. ''There have been almost weekly questions in parliament,'' says the company's business development director, Mr Tom McCormack. ''These range from enquiries about whether overseas IT workers have access to confidential information to whether IT has been responsible for the delays in moving Parliament into its new home at Holyrood House.''

Behind the concern of politicians is the fear that local firms will lose business and that jobs may go abroad.

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