Feeds

BAE broke bribery pledge, faked US arms-export applications

'We will become as righteous as we are good value'(!)

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Further details have emerged regarding the US Department of Justice case against UK-headquartered arms globocorp BAE Systems. The feds - without argument from BAE - say that the company engaged in a "conspiracy" to violate several US laws in recent years.

In particular, the Justice department alleges that BAE broke a promise made in writing to the US Defense secretary in 2000 that all its non-US businesses would "comply with the anti-bribery provisions of the [US] Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act as if those provisions applied to us". BAE also affirmed its commitment to comply with OECD anti-bribery rules. The company followed this up with another letter in May 2002 saying that all this compliance was now fully in place.

But according to the feds, in charges filed with the District of Columbia US court (and supplied to the Register):

BAE Systems regularly retained what it referred to as 'marketing advisors'... BAE Systems took steps to conceal its relationships with certain such advisors and its undisclosed payments to them. For example, BAE Systems paid certain of its advisors through various offshore shell entities... in certain situations there was a high probability that part of the payments would be used in order to ensure that BAE Systems was favoured in the foreign government decisions... BAE Systems also at times obfuscated and failed to record the key reasons for the suitability of an advisor or to document any work performed by the advisor... relevant materials were maintained by secretive legal trusts in offshore locations.

Apart from breaking its promise to abide by the the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act and the OECD convention, the Justice department says that BAE also violated US arms-technology export laws, in particular with respect to the supply of Gripen fighters to Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Gripen is made in Sweden, but like any modern Western military aircraft it contains large amounts of controlled US technology. As a result, US export clearance was necessary to supply Gripens to a third nation.

The DoJ court documents go on to say:

With respect to the lease of Gripen fighter jets to the Czech Republic and Hungary, and sales of other defense materials to other countries, BAE Systems caused the filing, by the applicant, of false applications for export licenses of US Munitions List defense materials and the making of false statements to the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls...

BAE has decided to make a deal with both the Justice investigators and the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), pursuing the company over the supply of a radar system in Tanzania. BAE will plead guilty to conspiring to make false statements to the U.S. Government, and pay a fine of $400m. The firm will also plead guilty in the UK to breach of duty to keep accounting records, and pay a fine of £30m.

BAE chairman Dick Olver said in a statement on Friday:

"In 2000, the Company gave a commitment to the US Government... it subsequently failed to honour this commitment or to disclose its shortcomings.

"In connection with the sale of a radar system by the Company to Tanzania in 1999, the Company made commission payments to a marketing adviser and failed to accurately record such payments...

"The Company very much regrets and accepts full responsibility for these past shortcomings.

"In the years since the conduct referred to in these settlements occurred, the Company has systematically enhanced its compliance policies and processes with a view to ensuring that the Company is as widely recognised for responsible conduct as it is for high quality products and advanced technologies."

Recent BAE products have included the Type 45 destroyers, which seem set to remain almost totally unarmed several years into their career with the Royal Navy; also the Nimrod MRA4 subhunter planes, well over ten years late, full of foreign kit, based on the airframe of 1950s De Havilland Comets and set to cost as much as a fleet of space shuttles. The last time BAE made a jet on its own it produced the Tornado F3, the laughingstock of the fighter world.

So it would seem that Mr Olver's aspirations have already been realised: BAE Systems is indeed as widely recognised for responsible conduct as it is for quality products. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?