SIEMENS, A Known Corrupt Company Secures A Contract In Ghana?

I was struck by the publication in the Herald and other online platforms of the alleged corrupt practice by Siemens in securing a compressor contract with ENI in Ghana. Given the corruption that permeated Siemens, due diligence should have been the greatest option.

Siemens' culture of corruption extended far beyond Asia, Africa and other continents and not far from research.

In 2008, Siemens was ordered to pay a fine of $1.34 billion to settle charges that it routinely used bribes and slush fund in securing huge public works contracts around the world. Siemens admitted to paying over $1.4 billion in bribes to government officials in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. At the time of the investigation, US officials called the schemes used by Siemens as unprecedented in scale and geographic reach. The settlement was also one of the largest US officials had received in settlement for the violation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practice Act laws.

Anyone hoping that Siemens would have learnt lessons from this case would be disappointed that the investigation and the subsequent fines did not deter Siemens from further engaging in corrupt practices. As a matter of fact in December 2012, the Mexican National Oil Company PEMEX accused Siemens of paying Pemex officials to approve overrun and expense payments to a corporation partly owned by a Korean Company.

Again, in 2013, Siemens was accused of paying $76 million in bribes to secure the sale of equipment to a Greek Telecom operator called OTE. In 2015, Siemens was again accused by the Israel Securities Authority of paying $20 million in bribes to officials at the state-owned Israel Electric Corp (IEC) to win contracts from 2000 – 2005. And most recently two Chinese nationals were charged with receiving bribes from Siemens in a case tried in the courts in Intermediate Court in Henan.

In 2016, Siemens AG was made to pay Israel 160 million shekels ($43 million) to settle a decade-old corruption case in which the German group was accused of bribing executives at a state-owned utility to win contracts. The settlement was announced by Israel's Justice Ministry, which has been investigating whether Siemens paid millions of dollars in bribes to officials at Israel Electric Corp (IEC) to win contracts from 1999 to 2005.

Furthermore, ENI mentioned in the article was no surprise to me because ENI, is also notorious for its corrupt practices around the world and have been the subject/target of several investigations by various government investigative units in the US, Russia, Italy, etc.

From this small chronology of dubious and questionable behavior by Siemens in countries all over the world, I ask the president to look into the allegations in the publication in the Herald. This is because if these allegations are true, that a contract meant for an indigenous company was taken away and given to Siemens, it jeopardizes and raises into question the effort that the Government is trying to place on the development of indigenous companies. This also raises the question of whether the government needs to conduct an audit into the activities of ENI and Siemens knowing their past history of corruption to make sure their history is not repeating itself in Ghana’s oil and gas industry

Author: Kwabena Opoku-Mensah