Balfour Beatty is to hire an outside expert to monitor compliance with accounting procedures in the wake of a £2.25m fine from the Serious Fraud Office.
The landmark case was described by the SFO as a “highly significant development” in its efforts to reform UK corporate behaviour and called on other firms to come clean about wrongdoing.
Balfour’s move is one of a raft of anti-corruption measures being adopted by the firm. A spokesperson said: “We will be reviewing documentation, beefing up training programmes and appointing an external monitor.” He said the company had somebody in mind for the post.
The contractor was fined after an investigation into inaccurate accounting on an Egyptian joint venture, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, built between 1996 and 2001.
The probe, which found that the contractor had failed to keep accurate records, came after Balfour reported financial irregularities to the SFO. The firm was said to have co-operated fully with the investigation.
Graham Hand, chief executive of British Expertise, a body that promotes UK companies abroad, said he expected to see a “steady number” of similar cases coming forward.