LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – Bloombergs report that BAE Systems Plc appointed Harry Woolf, former chief judge of England and Wales, to lead a panel that will investigate the company’s ethical standards after allegations of secret payments to Saudi officials.
Woolf’s group will examine “policies and processes,” BAE Chairman Dick Olver said today at a press briefing in London. The committee will not probe Saudi arms sales because they have been “exhaustively” investigated, he said.
“I will look at things with a critical and independent eye,” Woolf said at the briefing. For the sake of the company and the country, BAE’s practices must be “irreproachable,” he said.
The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office dropped a probe of alleged corruption in connection with the 43 billion-pound ($85 billion) Al-Yamamah arms contract with Saudi Arabia. The company made secret payments of 1 billion pounds ($2 billion) to Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, the Guardian newspaper and British Broadcasting Corp. reported. BAE denied wrongdoing.
Woolf will be paid 6,000 pounds a day for leading the probe and said he expects to work two days a week for more than six months. He will have the power to review company documents if they are within agreed “terms of reference.”