|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
US state adopts anti-BPO bill
May 11, 2004 19:05 IST
The American state of Kansas has adopted a bill seeking to bar outsourcing telephone enquiries about its food stamp programme to India and other countries.
The Bill sponsored by Kansas democratic legislator Tom Holland was passed in the Kansas Lower House with a 95-19 vote and by the Senate (30-5) on Saturday and has been sent to Governor Kathleen Sebelius for signature.
The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services signed a contract with eFunds Corp in September 2002 to handle food stamp benefits and take clients' calls. In its
2003 annual report, eFunds said it has two customer call centres in India and that about 3,100 of its 5,400 employees are outside the United States.
Outsourcing became an issue in the legislature when it was revealed that Kansas' calls about food stamps were answered by workers not in Kansas but in India.
The measure would require SRS to renegotiate its $1.7 million-a-year contract with the Arizona-based eFunds Corp, SRS spokesman Kyle Kessler said.
The agency said it does not know whether contract costs will increase if calls are answered in Kansas.
In March, Senator Mark Taddiken (Republican) persuaded fellow Senators to add a ban on outsourcing of food stamps work to a bill on next fiscal year's budget.
Under his proposal, the ban would have taken effect on July 1. But SRS secretary Janet Schalansky told legislators that the ban would raise the cost of eFunds contract by about $640,000 as a centre will have to be set up in Kansas.