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what price corporate responsibility? November 30, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : truth , trackback

The House of Commons International Development Committee has published a report which is quite critical of BAE Systems’ delay in making payments it promised to make as part of a settlement with respect to “improper book-keeping” with the Serious Fraud Office in 2010:

The Settlement Agreement did not require BAE Systems to make the ex gratia payment by a specified date. We recognise that the payment could not have been made before the conclusion of the Court proceedings on 21 December 2010. Nevertheless, we are concerned that the payment for the ‘benefit of the people of Tanzania’ remained outstanding more than eight months after the Court hearing and that BAE Systems envisaged spreading payment over a period of years, describing the payments as ‘our money’. Following our evidence session, we wrote to the Chairman of BAE Systems, urging the company in the strongest possible terms to pay immediately the full £29.5 million ex gratia payment to the Government of Tanzania in accordance with the proposals made by that Government and endorsed by DFID. Finally, the company agreed. We welcome this decision announced in a letter to the Committee Chair dated 19 August 2011 to make the payment to the Government of Tanzania and subsequent confirmation that it had made arrangements for the payment.

BAE of course believes in corporate responsibility:

Maintaining high standards of business conduct is essential to enhance our overall business performance, build trust, and maintain and improve our reputation with stakeholders.

Its Code of Conduct states that:

To be Trusted we must deliver on our commitments.

Just not all of them, apparently. Or at least not very speedily.

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