ByÂ Babajide Komolafe
The World Bank GroupÂ has announced a comprehensive settlement with Siemens AG in the wake of the companyâ€™s acknowled-ged past misconduct in its global business and a World Bank investigation into corruption in a project in Russia involving a Siemens subsi-diary.
A statement issued by the Bank siad the settlement includes a commitment by Siemens to pay $100 million over the next 15 years to support anti-corruption work, an agreement of up to a four-year debarment for Siemensâ€™ Russian subsidiary, and a voluntary two-year shut-out from bidding on Bank business for Siemens AG and all of its consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates
As part of the settlement, Siemens has also agreed to co-operate to change industry practices, clean up procur-ement practices and engage in collective action with the World Bank Group to fight fraud and corruption.
Siemens will also provide information on any additional cases of wrongdoing to the Bankâ€™s Institutional Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), which investigates fraud and corruption in Bank Group-financed activities.
â€œThis settlement provides significant consequences for past wrongdoing by Siemens.Â At the same time, Siemens ongoing extensive coopera-tion could help the World Bank hold more corrupt firms and individuals accountable for diverting precious develop-ment resources away from the people who need them,â€ said Leonard McCarthy, Integrity Vice President at the World Bank.
â€œThis ground-breaking settle-ment advances the World Bankâ€™s Governance and Anti-corruption agenda while supporting the new management team at Siemens which has introduced a robust and comprehensive compliance program and has committed to clean up the company and end corrupt practices in Siemens opera-tions world-wide.â€
â€œWe look forward to continuing to work with the Bank to eliminate fraud and corruption in our markets and we see this as confirmation of our work to establish a robust compliance program and to pursue collective action together with the Bank in those markets,â€ said Andreas Pohlmann, Siemens Chief Compliance Officer.
As part of the settlement agreement, the Siemens AG affiliate, â€˜Siemens Russiaâ€™ will face up to a four year debarment in connection with violations, prior to 2007, following an investigation by the World Bank into corrupt practices under the Bank-financed transportation project in Russia, the Moscow Urban Transport Project.
Siemens two year voluntary restraint means it loses the right to bid on Bank-financed projects until December 31, 2010. Siemens will now have to withdraw any bids not accepted as of January 2009 when the restraint period takes effect.
Siemensâ€™ commitment to pay $100 million to support global efforts to fight fraud and corruption would include providing funds to organizations and projects aimed at combating corruption through collective action, training, education.