Siemens Csr

Topics: Bribery, Political corruption, Corporation Pages: 3 (964 words) Published: January 29, 2013
Siemens and the illusion of CSR and codes of business integrity Siemens just settled on a major international corruption case.  It turns out that over the past decade Siemens and some of its subsidiaries made at least 4,283 payments either to public officials or “agents” to secure or retain contracts.  The estimated amount of the payments made in more than ten countries surpassed $1.4 billion.  During the current case, the criminal damages from Siemens were calculated to amount for up to $2.7 billion.  Now fines totaling $1.6 billion have been charged; Siemens cooperation with the authorities is cited as reason for the somewhat reduced fine... As part of this settlement, Siemens escaped from having to formally acknowledge it paid any bribes, which allows it to keep bidding for U.S. public sector projects.  Instead, the firm merely admitted to having had inadequate controls and keeping improper accounts... Siemens' shares fell slightly after the announcement of the settlement in Frankfurt trading, but then recovered.  The stock had dropped 56 percent over the last year. The case of Siemens illustrates what is important and what is not in seriously addressing corporate corruption.  As usual, the bottom line resides with incentives: what truly raises the cost of bribing will matter, in contrast with PR-friendly measures that are useless in raising the cost of corruption. For years many powerful corporates argued against tough measures imposed by governments and international organizations.  This has included resistance to the adoption and implementation of the OECD anti-bribery legislation, the public ban on public procurement eligibility in World Bank funded contracts, and investigation and sanction by individual governments.   Instead, many argued that ‘self-principles’ would suffice: trust the company, or group of companies, to rely on their own codes of conduct; on their signing onto their own collective integrity principles, and/or trust their (upgraded,...
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