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July 2011 | Adam Leach
has been fined more than £11 million for possibly benefitting from “unlawful
penalty is the result of a long-running joint investigation between the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), World Bank and the City of London Police.
The examination began following a 2009 report by the World Bank, which found an
agent acting for Macmillan attempted to bribe a bank official to win a tender
to provide education material in Sudan. The company referred itself to the SFO
after the findings (Law briefs, 24 June
subsequent SFO investigation, which looked at public tenders involving the
company in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia between 2002 and 2009, found “it was
impossible to be sure that the awards of tenders to the company in the three
jurisdictions were not accompanied by a corrupt relationship”.
SFO added it was “plain” the company might have received revenue as a result of
corrupt behaviour. In addition to the £11.26 million fine, Macmillan also paid
the SFO’s court costs of £27,000. An independent monitor will also review the
company’s behaviour and report to the SFO and World Bank in a year’s time.
Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan, said: “Today’s resolution stems from our
extensive co-operation with the authorities and means we can move forward with
confidence that we are operating to the most robust standards of
anti-corruption policy and procedure, including the use of an independent
monitor to assure good conduct and compliance in all our dealings. The company
deeply regrets what has passed, but has learned from the experience and has
emerged stronger as an organisation.”
SFO said Macmillan’s response on learning of the allegations had been
appropriate, in reviewing its own anti-corruption policies and appointing
consultants to implement new compliance procedures.