Halliburton admits it paid Nigerian bribe
Fri May 9, 1:51 PM ET Add Top Stories - AFP to My Yahoo!
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Oil services giant Halliburton, already under fire over accusations that its White house ties helped win a major Iraqi oil contract, has admitted that a subsidiary paid a multi-million dollar bribe to a Nigerian tax official.
Halliburton, once run by Vice President Richard Cheney, revealed the illicit payments, worth 2.4 million dollars, in a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (news - web sites) (SEC).
"The payments were made to obtain favorable tax treatment and clearly violated our code of business conduct and our internal control procedures," Halliburton said.
Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), which paid the bribe, has been in the political spotlight since it was awarded a no-bid US government oil contract in Iraq (news - web sites) in March.
KBR is building a liquefied natural gas plant and an offshore oil and gas terminal in Nigeria.
Halliburton told the SEC the bribe was discovered during an audit of KBR's Nigerian office.
The payments were made in 2001 and 2002, Halliburton spokeswoman Zelma Branch told AFP's business ethics news service, AFX Global Ethics Monitor.
Cheney led the company as chief executive from 1995 until August 2000, when he became President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s running mate.
"Based on the findings of the investigation we have terminated several employees," Halliburton said in the filing, adding that none of its senior officers was involved in the bribe.
"We are cooperating with the SEC in its review of the matter," Halliburton said.
"We plan to take further action to ensure that our foreign subsidiary pays all taxes owed in Nigeria, which may be as much as an additional five million dollars, which has been fully accrued."
Halliburton said its code of business conduct and internal control procedures were "essential" to the way it ran its business.
The group is already facing questions over its business in Iraq and its accounting practices.
On Tuesday, a US lawmaker said the military had revealed for the first time that KBR had a contract encompassing the operation of Iraqi oil fields.
Previously, the US Army Corps of Engineers had described the contract given to Halliburton as involving oil well firefighting.
But in a May 2 letter replying to questions from Henry Waxman, a Democrat, the army said the contract also included "operation of facilities and distribution of products."
Waxman, the top-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives' committee on government reform, asked for an explanation.
"These new disclosures are significant and they seem at odds with the administration's repeated assurances that the Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqi people," Waxman said.
The Army Corps of Engineers had said it decided to forgo competitive bidding on the first contract because of time constraints.
But in a May 2 letter responding to questions from Waxman, military programs chief Lieutenant General Robert Flowers said the military assigned the work to KBR's services division in November 2002, under a pre-existing contract for the firm to provide logistical support to the US Army worldwide.
Waxman has also criticized Halliburton for dealings with countries such as Iran, Iraq and Libya, cited by Washington as state sponsors of terrorism or members of the so-called "axis of evil".
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Once again, this company, whom VP Dick Cheney is still in deep with, shows it's true colors. And the U.S. wants to award them an uncontested contract in Iraq? I don't think so.
Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1977 times:
If you take Iraq out of the equation here,what Halliburton did was wrong but understandable.As,AVt007 said,bribing issues in Africa is merely a cost of business there!However,Halliburton have to respect the (American)Foreign Corrupt Practises Act which basically bans bribery.However,it put's American rivals from countries which don't abide by the law,a massive advantage.
Still,Halliburton are not above the law!
Krushny From Spain, joined Dec 2000, 776 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1910 times:
I do not condone what Halliburton did in Nigeria, but I am afraid this is the business-as-usual in most African countries. At one time, Germany even allowed its companies to declare these bribes as deductible tax expenses...
However, I agree with Artsyman that Halliburton is full of shit when they say that no senior officer was involved.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1783 times:
No, no. My point being, Donder, that if the little fish are going to prision, and they KNEW the big fish who ordered it, human nature being what it is, they'll want the big fish in jail learning to say "Who's your daddy" right along with them, don't you think?
Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1789 times:
If the orders were crystal clear then yes.More likely it was a very labryinth process with euphemisms galore given out about performance targets etc.
It's more likely that the company itself will get the rap instead of individuals given what actually happened.If individuals are prosecuted,they will go straight for the big fish in the post-Enron,Worldcom etc climate.
Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1757 times:
LOL Alpha,I try
Seriously though,I bet there is IMMENSE pressure from the big oil companies to get rid of the Foreign Corrupt Practises Act as it does put US oil firms at a compartiive disadvantage to their Russian rivals amongst others.
I see it a bit like the Kyoto Treaty.The US ,principly views the FCPA as a good thing but (like Kyoto although this one is already law)doesn't see why it should sign up when other countries won't giving them an advantage.
Still,the more I read about this,the more I think it won't be deemed illegal(even if the US is sceptical about the law itself)
Shamrock1Heavy From Ireland, joined Nov 2002, 250 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1721 times:
Okay, sorry, let me elaborate. Cheney is a money-grubbing war monger, that wants nothing more than to get rich off of Iraqi oil. Sorry, but your conservative dreams of following everything your glorious leader tells you to do, don't work for me. I am a dissenter, crucify me with your patriotism. This and any war is WRONG.
Alpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1718 times:
This and any war is WRONG.
I agreed with most of what you said, right up to this point. Was the Revolutionary War against Britian wrong? No. Was going battling the South in the Civil War wrong? No. Was declaring war against Japan, then fighting Germany in World War II wrong? No. Was defending South Korea from the attack from the north wrong? No. Was defending Kuwait after Iraq attacked it wrong? No. Was going to war in Afghanistan after 9/11 wrong? No.
Was Vietnam wrong? Yes. Was Panama wrong? Yes. Was going to war against Iraq this time wrong? Yes (all of this is my opinion, of course).
There are times when a nation MUST go to war, to defend that which it thinks is worth defending. There are times when that is vague, or, in some cases, not the primary reason for doing so.
But to say all wars are wrong, is wrong in and of itself, in my view.
Delta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 7 Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1723 times:
Calm down, Shamrock, you don't know me nor my views. Excuse my skepticism, but a teenager who calls the VP of his country a bastard has low credibility with me. Feel free to disagree with Cheney, but expect a rough ride if you insist on being disrespectful.
Now, ..... your conservative dreams of following everything your glorious leader tells you to do, don't work for me.
I am not particularly conservative, in fact, where I live, I am considered a liberal. Although I did not vote for Bush, he is still my leader, since I am still an American. If you had focused on a discussion of the issues, you may have had a chance to debate with me and others on a more serious level.
Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1685 times:
Some people who supported the war are now becoming rather scepticle as to the real motives.However,I do feel Blair was doing it genuinely to eliminate the threat of WMD attack and (as a nice side effect)remove a brutal dictator at the same time.
Sebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3672 posts, RR: 5 Reply 25, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1663 times:
Concerning Blair, I believe his first motivation was to reinforce the relationship with USA as England doesn't really know if it wants to be really European.
And being the closest ally of the USA is a rather good position.
And there was a bonus side effect of removing a tyrant, which is always good for the image.