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TI-UK Challenges Government Over Export Credit Cover for Firms Implicated in Bribery

Anti-corruption champion, Transparency International UK, has called on the Government to exclude companies implicated in bribery from future Government contracts. 


2 March 2009 – The call comes in a letter to UK Economic and Business Minister, Ian Pearson, following a $579m fine for bribery agreed this month in the US courts by oil and engineering firm Halliburton. The company has close connections with MW Kellogg, which receives cover from the UK’s Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), for the project that was cited in the US court case. The ECGD has stated that it is powerless either to annul this contract or exclude the company from future contracts.

Transparency International (UK) has pointed out that a review of the ECGD’s anti-bribery provisions is due this year, and in the light of this case, it is imperative for the Government to commission an independent review into best practice, and for the ECGD to implement its findings. In particular, Transparency International (UK) favours debarment.

Exclusion from Government contracts – or ‘debarment’ – of companies with poor anti-bribery systems is widely used elsewhere in the world, including by the US government and World Bank.

Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of TI (UK) said:

‘It is astonishing that the ECGD is apparently powerless to annul a contract in these circumstances. The Government needs to ensure that all UK government contracts are sufficiently sophisticated to encompass the various ways companies and their subsidiaries may be involved in bribery. It is also imperative that the Government commissions a review of best practice in time for the review of ECGD’s anti-bribery provisions. The ECGD must be given the power to debar companies that are guilty of bribery, and be told to use the powers.’
 

 

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Read 1891 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:07

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