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World Bank Slams $100m Fine on Siemens

By Lucky Fiakpa, with agency report

… Loses bid right for projects

Siemens AG may have lost its right to bid for World Bank-financed projects until December 31, 2010 following its voluntary two-year shut-out from bidding on World Bank business.
The World Bank on Thursday announced a comprehensive term of settlement with Siemens AG, asking the company to pay 100 million dollars for its past misconduct in global business. The settlement followed a World Bank investigation on alleged corruption in a project in Russia involving a Siemens’ subsidiary.


A statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in New York said, “the settlement includes a commitment by Siemens to pay 100 million dollars over the next 15 years to support anti-corruption work”.
Also in the statement was an agreement of a four-year debarment for Siemens’ Russian subsidiary and a voluntary two-year shut-out from bidding on World Bank business.

“Siemens has also agreed to change industry practices, clean up procurement practices and engage in collective action with the World Bank to fight fraud and corruption.
“Siemens will also provide information on any additional cases of wrongdoing to the Bank’s Institutional Integrity Vice Presidency which investigates fraud and corruption,” it said.
“This settlement provides significant consequences for past wrongdoing by Siemens,” Leonard McCarthy, Integrity Vice President at the World Bank, said.

Siemens Chief Compliance Officer Andreas Pohlmann, said: “We look forward to continuing to work with the World Bank to eliminate fraud and corruption in our markets”.
“We see this as confirmation of our work to establish a robust compliance programme and to pursue collective action together with the World Bank in those markets,” he said.
Nigeria, in 2007 canceled a supply contract with the company and suspended dealings with it, pending an investigation into allegations it gave more than $14 million in bribes to Nigerian officials.
The then Communications Minister John Odey says it would be improper for the government to give new contracts to Siemens while corruption allegations were being investigated by the Nigeria authorities.
Odey says Nigeria has annulled a recently-signed supply contract, worth more than one million dollars, for electrical systems.

The German telecommunications giant is alleged to have paid more than $100 million in bribes to officials in Nigeria, Russia and Libya.
Siemens’ commitment to pay 100 million dollars to support global efforts to fight corruption would include providing funds to organisations.

This would be through projects aimed at combating corruption through collective action, training and education.
The money will also be directed to helping governments to recover assets stolen
by corrupt leaders, and strengthen efforts to identify and crack down on corrupt
practices.
In December 2008, Siemens settled related allegations made by the U.S. and German authorities.


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