07.08.2020

#unverifiedsource part 1

Author: Wiktor Rainka

see #update

While checking out Facebook late at night, I came across an interesting article. It is a text decorated with a very telling title, which I’d describe as #unverifiedsource. It is because it analyzes critically (not to be confused with negatively) a text of an author whose sources and resources of any nature (e.g. coming from blogs or journalist texts) are truly unknown to me.

Of course, in my review, I use quotations and references to the content of the reviewed text. A repetition of this premise is actually intentional. I mark passages as this paragraph with a color dubbed as a ‘vivid light blue cyan’ so that, I believe, the female audience will also feel a certain aesthetic pleasure when they read the following text, which all in all is legal, just as this extremely long sentence.

So let’s focus on the part of the text which attracts most of my attention, actually all of it, namely the legal one which is introduced by these headlines*:

‘What is the subject of the agreement?’ and ‘What is interesting about the agreements?’

So first things first. This is what we learn from the text which follows the first headline, ‘As we know by now, the subject of the agreement is a license under which:

  • The Ministry may operate a single server installation of the Kwarantanna Domowa (English: Home Quarantine) application.
  • The Ministry has the right to install testing and back-up environments.
  • The Ministry received the source code for all parts of the application (backend, frontend, and mobile).
  • The Ministry may provide changes to the software – which, however, according to the contract, may exclude the manufacturer’s warranty or technical support.

Nothing extraordinary, right? Simply an enumeration of standard provisions. But then there’s an excerpt with the author’s comment:

Access to the source code and the right to modify it is undeniably good. Unfortunately, contractual penalties do not take into account a problem that occurs frequently, namely delays in the delivery of text messages with notification of the task waiting in the application. It is enough to read through some comments, those in Google Play and those under many articles devoted to the application, to become aware of how common this issue arises. Meanwhile, a press release published by the XYZ company reads that ‘the scale of the [error] notifications is at the margin of a statistical error.’

I don’t even know what to think about this. It could be true or could be false. Maybe it’s good – or perhaps quite the opposite.

The next headline (‘What is interesting about the agreements?’) reveals the enumeration of reliable links to individual documents in question. The author adds:

Neither the agreements nor their annexes contain any extraordinary elements. This is a set of documents I received:

And so the list of names follows. First of all, the agreements:

4/DRU/2020 Agreement of 18 March 2020 for the development of a web system and an application for mobile devices 

What follows is the list of annexes, which are indeed quite ordinary, e.g. the data processing agreement (just scroll it).

However, later in the text, the author mentions two annexes that appeared interesting to him:

Annex 1 of 1 April 2020 which increases the costs of SMS and Google Maps services from PLN 200,000 to PLN 400,000.

AND

Annex 2 of 17 April 2020 which increases the costs of SMS and Google Maps services from PLN 400,000 to PLN 800,000.

The Annex 1 says: ‘The total maximum remuneration for the execution of the subject of the Agreement is PLN 2,357,723.57 net [in words: two million three hundred and fifty-seven thousand seven hundred and twenty-three zloty 57/100], which together with VAT of PLN 542,276.43 [in words: five hundred forty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-six zloty 43/100] constitutes the gross amount of PLN 2,900,000 [in words: two million nine hundred thousand zloty] (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Remuneration’) and consists of the remuneration for execution of the Order in the total amount of PLN 2,500,000 gross and the remuneration for additional services in the maximum amount of PLN 400,000 gross.’

Wynagrodzenie za usługi dodatkowe zgodnie z podlinkowaną przez a

Just as the author says, the remuneration for additional services following the Agreement is actually PLN 200,000 gross (see paragraph 5.1 at the end of the Agreement).

In other words, it confirms the author’s observations devoted to the increase in remuneration for the service by 100%, and then 200% since Annex 2 is formulated following the same manner as Annex 1 (only that the numbers are different).

However, in order to thoroughly assess these observations, it would be appropriate to consider what these ‘additional services’ are and what were the contractual parties’ arrangements for providing them. These are precisely the services that, according to the Agreement and the Annexes, were worth PLN 200,000, then PLN 400,000 and finally PLN 800,000 on the day of the Agreement’s conclusion.

See you in the next episode of #unverifiedsource, or maybe not – then this text will remain only a sneak peek of a review 😉.

* I’d like to take a moment to send my regards to Dr. Piotr Wasilewski from Traple Konarski Podrecki and Partners, a colleague with whom I had a pleasure of working on an interesting trial revolving around headlines.