Monday, December 6, 2004

International Investigations

According to a recent AP story, the Swiss "have blocked bank accounts containing "$100 million in an investigation of an alleged bribery scandal tied to a subsidiary of Halliburton Co."  According to the report, which can be found in several online newspapers, it is unclear which accounts were frozen, and whether the money relates to funds "paid by an international consortium to win contracts for a natural gas project in Nigeria between 1995 and 2002."  According to the reports, Halliburton's internal investigation has "not found any evidence that supports claims of bribery."

Several things can be learned from this report-

1.  That when it comes to investigations, whether it be in the U.S. or abroad, secrecy of the investigation makes it difficult to provide full information to the public. To some extent this is good, as it does not cause a negative influence to individuals or a company prior to the end of an investigation.

2. Despite efforts to provide secrecy, there will always be leaks that sometimes have a negative effect on a company, even though the information may be just based on speculation.

3. U.S. businesses need to be aware of the international implications of what they are doing.  Investigations may not be strictly national, with other countries scrutinizing business actions that occur in the global marketplace.


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