“As I said in my email, there are a few aspects of your proposal I want to clarify.” He flipped through a bound report on the table in front of him, stopping at a section marked with sticky tabs. “Back-up and security procedures. That’s my first area of concern. Data confidentiality is crucial. How do you vet your employees?”
Jack drew himself up as though about to speak. Miranda jumped in before that could happen. This was an easy question.
“We request all employees to submit to national police checks before permanent employment is offered, Mr. Paterson. We engage contractors according to work load, and they are also required to undergo the check as well.”
He nodded. “Hugh, please. No need to stand on formality.” Pursing his lips, he made a few notes in the margin of the report. Upside-down, the jottings were unreadable.
Miranda pushed on. “Part of our induction program entails instruction on our corporate policies, and processes for maintaining security. Everyone understands that a breach results in instant dismissal, and the prospect of legal action.”
Hugh looked to Jack again. “Can you run me through your risk management process?”
What was it with this man? She maintained a poker face over rising irritation. She couldn’t afford to jeopardize the contract. IT Health Solutions needed this job. It was make or break time. She focused on a business-like portrayal.
“If you look at the appendices, Hugh, you’ll see a copy of our risk management report. This assessment takes place at the beginning of every project, with responsibility apportioned to those who should monitor the impacts. It’s a dynamic document, updated every month. As soon as an issue is identified, we’ll be on to it.”
Hugh Paterson looked up from the report, put his pen down, and sat back in his chair. He regarded Jack intently, tapping the cover of the report. “On paper, you’ve come across with a well-thought out proposal. What guarantees can you give me that your company can—”
Miranda couldn’t let the meeting continue in this vein. Leaning forward, she tapped one fingernail on the table.
“Mr. Paterson—Hugh—IT Health Solutions is my company. If there are any guarantees required, you will need to speak to me. Jack will address some of the technical questions.” She sensed his surprise, but couldn’t help herself. “If you read that report thoroughly, you would have seen the section on company ownership and key personnel. Is this an indication of the level of due diligence undertaken by hospital administration?”
She felt Jack nudge her foot under the table. She knew what that meant. Shut up, Miranda. Your mouth will get us into trouble one of these days. He said it often enough.
Hugh’s posture shifted slightly as his eyes slid from Jack to Miranda. She held his gaze and her breath. He ignored her question and didn’t rise to the bait. He remained silent for one, two beats.