Construction giant Leighton Holdings’ Iraq scandal has claimed at least one victim with the announcement that the company has sacked a senior manager for alleged misconduct.
Last February, when announcing its half yearly results, the company revealed that it had discovered potential illegal conduct relating to payments made by one of its subsidiaries in connection with work in Iraq to expand offshore loading facilities for that country’s crude exports, and that it had referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police.
In a statement today, the company announced that an internal review of Iraq projects undertaken by its subsidiary, Leighton Offshore Pty Ltd, revealed ‘instances of failures to meet governance standards’ with respect to the proper documentation of contractual arrangements.
“As a consequence, a senior manager has been dismissed,” the statement says, without naming the individual concerned.
Leighton Chief Executive Hamish Tyrwhitt says the internal review followed February’s discovery of the alleged conduct and that the company is continuing to cooperate with the ongoing AFP investigation.
“Leighton’s values are integral to Leighton’s approach to business,” Tyrwhitt says. “No deviation from those values will be tolerated and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if necessary.”
The dismissal comes amid company efforts to demonstrate that it is on top of the Iraq scandal. Leighton is looking to restore confidence in its management of projects and handling of its affairs.
Along with the payment scandal, Leighton’s reputation for corporate governance has been badly affected in recent years by huge write-downs on major projects.