Mexico City's attorney general's office said Thursday that it had issued arrest warrants for three IBM executives and 19 former city officials over a multimillion-dollar computer system that failed to work properly.
IBM's Mexico unit was granted a $27-million contract by a previous city administration to upgrade a computer system that would streamline criminal investigations.
But the computer giant got the deal without having to bid against competitors, city officials alleged.
"The law calls for a bidding process, and there was none," Mexico City Atty. Gen. Samuel Ignacio del Villar told a news conference.
But IBM's Mexico division said in a statement that the computer system met the requirements of the contract and that the price was fair.
"As with any complex systems integration project, some technical problems arise and need to be resolved," the company said.
None of the 22 sought in the case have been detained, officials said.
The warrants were issued a day after police carried out a daylong search of IBM's Mexico City offices and seized documents.