Legal and Ethical Issues
Legal & Ethical issues brought upon SNC Lavalin since 2011 / Recommendations (Fabien) Internal issue: In March 2012, SNC-Lavalin released the results of an internal review showing the company cannot properly account for $56 million in payments directed by former executive vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa and signed off on by CEO Pierre Duhaime. “The CEO’s authorization of these payments did not comply with the agents policy and therefore was in breach of the code (of ethics),” the company’s internal review found. To this day, these missing funds could not be linked to specific transactions or countries.
Libyan issues In July 2011, Consultant Cyndy Vanier is flown by SNC-Lavalin on a fact-finding expedition to Libya during the NATO mission to report on the company’s many projects and the conditions for employees. In Nov 2011, Cyndy Vanier and SNC- Lavalin vice-president Stephane Roy will be arrested in Mexico. They were charged with organized crime, falsifying documents, and the intent to smuggle humans. The plan was to smuggle the son of Lybian dictator, Saadi Gadhafi, out of Niger to Mexico with fake documents. As a result of these investigations, SNC-Lavalin dismisses Consultant Cyndy Vanier,
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Vice-President Stephane Roy, Ben Aissa, executive vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa, CEO Pierre Duhaime for violating the company Code of ethics. May 2012: Swiss prosecutors have arrested Riadh Ben Aissa, a former SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. executive vice-president, for business-related “corrupt practices, fraud and money-laundering” in North Africa. Tunisian issues May 2012: A Tunisian businessman accused Quebec’s SNC-Lavalin of soliciting bribery, claiming he was shut out of the bidding for a contract after refusing to pay off a senior official in the company’s North African branch.
May 2013: RCMP search warrant document alleges that SNC-Lavalin paid nearly $6- million to the son-in-law of Tunisia’s president between 2001 and 2010 to win contracts in the North African country. The payments in question were made at a period when a variety of major contracts were awarded to SNC-Lavalin in Tunisia. Swiss authorities uncovered the Tunisian payments as part of an investigation into corruption and money laundering. Mr. Ben Aissa, Executive Vice-President for SNC Lavalin, was detained in Switzerland Bangladesh issues:
June 2011: The Dhaka Daily Star reported that SNC-Lavalin offered large bribes to at least six influential Bangladeshi officials, including two former government ministers, to obtain a lucrative bridge contract Oct 2011: The offices of contractor SNC Lavalin were raided by Canadian authorities over allegations of corruption in the bidding process for a IJS$ 2. 9 billion bridge project in Bangladesh. Among the officials allegedly bribed by the Montreal based company was then communications minister Syed Abul Hossain, who now heads the department of Information and Communications Technology.
The others are former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury; former secretary of the bridges division of the communications ministry Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan; Rafiqul Islam, exdirector of Padma Multipurpose Bridge project, along with three businessmen working on the project. The accusations of bribery prompted the World Bank to suspend a IJS$I . 2 billion loan and temporarily barred the SNC-Lavalin subsidiary from bidding on other contracts in the country. Sept 2013: A former senior SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. xecutive, Kevin Wallace, who versaw the company’s bid to supervise the construction of a six-kilometre bridge in Bangladesh – a project that is stalled amid allegations of corruption – has been charged criminally under Canada’s foreign bribery law Montreal Issues: March 2012 – SNC’s former chief executive, Pierre Duhaime, faced multiple charges in connection with an alleged $22. 5-million bribe that police say was funnelled to hospital administrators to ensure the company won the contract to build the McGill University Health Centre.
Nov 2012: The Quebec police charged CEO Pierre Duhaime who resigned in March ith fraud, reportedly in connection with a contract to build and design a new $1. 3- billion “super hospital” in Montreal Recommendations to fix issues: Recommandations that SNC Lavalin is considering as the results of their own investigations: The appointment of Compliance Officers to the Company’s business units and regional hubs around the world. Part of a comprehensive, risk-based compliance organization, the officers will report directly to SNC-Lavalin’s Chief compliance issues whenever and wherever they may arise across the Company.
An Code of Ethics for SNC-Lavalin’s 34,000 employees around the world. A component of SNC-Lavalin’s overall compliance policy, the code should provides a concise overview of the Company’s approach to addressing and mitigating corruption risk in daily business activities. It outlines acceptable and unacceptable conduct in a user- friendly manner, while reaffirming the importance of compliance with applicable laws and SNC-Lavalin’s recently enhanced Code of Ethics and Business Conduct.
A new policy governing engagements with business partners: The policy must set out rinciples and due diligence procedures to be observed before entering into an agreement with any and all parties who will act on behalf of SNC-Lavalin. The Policy will help ensure the Company deals solely with people or entities of integrity and in good standing with the business community, and which possess the necessary background, reputation and qualifications for the service(s) provided. Personal Compliance Training for all employees, with a special focus on those working in functions known to expose employees to a higher level of corruption risk.
Provided in person by compliance experts, the training for high-risk functions will ensure SNC-Lavalin employees have the requisite tools to do business according to the utmost ethical standards, no matter what regulatory circumstances they find themselves in, or external parties they are in contact with. An Amnesty Program launched between June 3 and August 31 of this year. The Program provided employees with an opportunity to come forward regarding ethical violations so that any remaining issues could be dealt with and rapidly resolved.
A otal of 32 employees made amnesty requests. While no new information of a material nature was revealed, the information the Company received did confirm its previous assessment of corruption risks. Other recommendations that SNC Lavalin might want to consider: Obligations to report on all meetings with any official of a government, and ask to produce a detailed sum up of the discussions Strengthening and improving internal controls and processes: make sure all financials transactions are properly recorded and approved by the CEO and Compliant Officer.