Independent investigation finds a Wall Street Journal allegation last summer “is not proven”
Consultant Sweett Group has announced an independent probe into a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of improper business conduct by a former employee in the Middle East has concluded, and found the allegation “is not proven”.
The WSJ reported last June that in 2010 a Sweett executive told an architect at US-based practice HLW hoping to work on a hospital project in Morocco that his company would have to pay 3.5% of the value of the contract to an official at the client to win it.
Sweett launched an independent investigation by lawyers Pinsent Masons into the allegation after the article was published, and today the firm said this investigation had now concluded.
Sweett said that its directors had reviewed the results of the independent investigation and concluded the allegation was not proven.
However, the firm added investigators were unable to speak to the former employee referred to in the WSJ article as part of their investigation and said “as a result it has not been possible to close it with absolute certainty”.
Sweett added it has a “zero tolerance to bribery and corruption” and since 2010 when the allegation relates to the firm had tightened up its monitoring and reporting requirements
The firm is preparing for accreditation under BS10500, a British Standards Institute standard for anti-bribery management.