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Bribery and corruption in oil

Oilfield Technology,

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) holds that bribery and corruption is a growing concern for business in all sectors and jurisdictions.

According to the IMCA, corruption is a problem not only from an ethical and competition-distorting perspective, but also because of the substantial risk it creates to the reputation of affected businesses and the potential financial implications of a conviction, or even just the adverse publicity of an allegation or investigation.

Chris Charman, Chief Executive, commented: “Helping our members to understand something as fundamental to the reputation of their business as bribery and corruption is an important issue to us”.

“It is with this in mind that our Contracts & Insurance Workgroup hosted an Anti-Bribery & Corruption Seminar earlier this year in London, to discuss bribery and corruption issues faced globally by the marine contracting industry, where anti-bribery clause can be an integral part of contracts.

“It is important that members and their clients work together establishing auditable and workable processes. The seminar was designed to help mutual understanding on both sides of the client: contractor fence and to discuss ways and means of establishing workable solutions.”

The first two presentations of the seminar were given by Raymond Bonci of Total E&P and Michele de Rosa of ENI, who looked at ‘Anti-bribery and corruption from an oil company’s perspective: experiences and expectations of the contracting industry’.

Ray opened his presentation with a map of the world based on the perceived level of corruption. This is published every year by Transparency International. He went on to consider the many effects of corruption, such as increased cost of doing business, distortion of competition, undermining of economic stability and the rule of law, reputational damage, and the potential civil, criminal and/or employment consequences for companies and individuals.

The legal stakes are also high. A number of different countries have adopted new anti-corruption laws. For example, Brazil and Canada have adopted new, stronger laws with ‘extra-territorial’ effect, the UK has recently introduced Deferred Prosecution agreements (DPAs) and the US has begun to push for outright guilty pleas (as opposed to DPAs). Ray explained that there is now greater cooperation between law enforcement agencies, and the increasingly broad investigations mean there is heightened legal uncertainty and risk.

Tackling the same theme, Michele de Rosa of ENI started looking at the consequences of bribery and corruption, including record breaking fines and the loss of reputation. HE then touched on the anti-corruption legislation applicable to ENI, including the Italian regulations, which focused on monitoring, before providing an overview of ENI’s recent review of its anti-corruption procedures and its Anti-Corruption Management System Guidance.

As a company with a vast number of suppliers and contracts, the ENI procedures have a particular focus on risk mitigation with respect to suppliers and the management of third party risk, including specific measures for vendor risk assessment, identification and mitigation of higher risk vendors, and monitoring of feedback on vendors.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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