THE UK SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE (SFO) has said it is investigating itself to eliminate any conflict of interest as it opens an investigation into HP's allegations against Autonomy.
HP has claimed that Autonomy cooked it books prior to HP's acquisition of the company in 2011, with the SFO confirming that it has opened an investigation of HP's allegations. However the SFO also said that it will investigate itself to eliminate any potential conflict of interest, as it is one of Autonomy's customers.
The SFO said it uses Introspect, an Autonomy product that manages documents. The organisation said, "The SFO is keen to ensure that there is now no conflict of interest, or perception of such a conflict and it is obliged as a first step to make inquiries to ensure that it can continue as the investigating body. It is undertaking this work at present."
The SFO confirmed that it has opened an investigation into allegations that Autonomy engaged in accounting improprieties.
In a statement sent to The INQUIRER the SFO said, "The Director of the Serious Fraud Office has decided to open an investigation into those allegations, with a view to using its powers of investigation to allow them to be tested."
HP's multi-billion dollar writedown of Autonomy came after it fired the firm's founder Mike Lynch following its purchase of Autonomy. Lynch has denied HP's allegations and said that he wasn't made aware of the allegations prior to HP's public disclosure.
Although the SFO is investigating the possibility of a conflict of interest due to its use of an Autonomy product, given that the investigation is still in the very preliminary stages the SFO is playing it safe because of the vast sums of money involved. µ
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