Argentine NGO CIPCE filed a complaint against Swedish company Skanska for paying bribes to public servants during the construction of a gas pipeline in Argentina.
When the corruptions allegations were publicised, Skanska stated publicly it had dismissed the directors involved. However, Skanska provided the directors with severance pay before re-employing them as consultants in the companys various projects.
The complaint contends that Skanskas actions reveal the companys unwillingness to prevent and fight corruption. CIPCE argues the correct course of action would have been to dismiss those involved without severance pay. Skanska argues they needed to find a quick solution.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Version 2000 Chapter VI
- Version 2000 Chapter VI Paragraph VI.1
- Version 2000 Chapter VI Paragraph VI.2
- Version 2000 Chapter X
After the Argentine NCP accepted the case in November 2007, both parties agreed to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution, focusing in particular on the Guidelines provision that states, “The enterprise should also foster openness and dialogue with the public so as to promote its awareness of and co-operation with the fight against bribery and extortion. (Chapter VI, Paragraph 3).”
CIPCE asked the NCP to request that the OECD Investment Committee (IC) clarify the provision; however, the NCP rejected their request, arguing that the IC does not have the ability to interpret the Guidelines.
In September 2008, Skanska withdrew from the process, and accused CIPCE of acting in bad faith and violating the rules of confidentiality.
In May 2009, CIPCE presented additional information in a second case against Skanska for alleged violations of Chapter VI. CIPCE requested that the NCP draft a final statement and close the case given Skansas refusal to participate in the process.
In November 2009, the NCP issued a final statement, closing both cases without making an evaluation of the validity of the allegations.
- Company in violation
- Affected people