Bribery allegations loom over Leighton Offshore

Leighton Holdings subsidiary being investigated by the Australian Federal Police

Australian construction giant, Leighton Holdings, has announced that it has fired a subsidary company’s senior manager over allegations of misconduct while carrying out work in the Middle East.

Leighton Offshore is currently being investigated by the Australian Federal Police for allegations it made improper payments for an oil project in Iraq. The parent company has also conducted an internal review into the allegations, which concluded the subsidiary failed to meet governance standards relating to the proper documentation of contractual arrangements.

“Leighton’s values are integral to Leighton’s approach to business,” Leighton chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt said.”No deviation from those values will be tolerated and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if necessary.”

The Australian, a daily newspaper, quoted the Iraq Oil Ministry’s inspector general as saying that investigations centred on allegations that officials received bribes from Leighton Offshore officials to help secure contracts.

In 2010, Leighton Offshore said it had received a contract a contract worth $733m to install three moorings and 120kms of pipeline in the Arabian Gulf. The work was for Iraq’s South Oil Company was part of a wider operation to redevelop export facilities from the Fao terminal near Basra.

Following this, the company received a $79m contract from South Oil a year later to build an additional mooring. It also entered into an additional contract with the same company for further work, including two offshore platforms and a 75km pipeline.


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