One of the long running themes of this blog has been the importance of ethics and governance to the success of organisations and the importance of ethical behaviour at all levels of an organisation from the project level up to the very top. No one can afford to allow unethical behaviour to continue – the expediency of turning a ‘blind-eye’ is simply not an option.
Within this theme, a couple of years ago we highlighted changes in laws in Australia, the UK, and the USA focused on eliminating bribery of foreign officials (read the post) and the wide reaching effect of these laws.
Since then, a range of high profile companies have been successfully prosecuted and there are numerous on-going investigations. One of the latest to be finalised involves the French engineering group Alstom, which has been fined a record $772 million by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for corruption in foreign countries. The fine was for an ‘astounding’ history of international bribery. Alstom pleaded guilty to paying more than $75m in bribes to government officials in countries such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which resulted in Alstom winning projects worth more than $4bn and gaining profits estimated at $300m (see the full report).
Developing a culture of effective governance is not easy – we will continue this theme in 2015, in the meantime select ‘Governance’ from the category list in the side bar to review our earlier posts.