Britain Bans US-Based Consultancy Company Over Corruption

Britain Bans US-Based Consultancy Company Over Corruption
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Britain has openly announced on Wednesday that it would be banning the United States-based consultancy giant Bain & Company for three years from United Kingdom government contracts after it was revealed that it became enmeshed in a huge corruption scandal in South Africa.

Bain is being barred for competing in bids for central government consultancy work for three years, effective from January 4 this year, a spokesman for the cabinet office told AFP.

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“After reviewing Bain’s role in alleged state capture and corruption by the former government of South Africa, taking account of the evidence and conclusions of the South African government commission, the minister for government efficiency considered Bain to be guilty of grave professional misconduct,” it said.

The punishment stems from a four-year probe into graft under South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma. The investigation, led by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, determined that billions of dollars in publicly owned assets were systematically siphoned off — a process known locally as “state capture”.

Bain was hired by the South African government in 2015-16 on a contract to overhaul the country’s revenue service. The initial contract was to last for six weeks and was worth around $150,000.

But eventually it has been revealed that it ran for more than two years, at a cost of more than $9 million, and extended into many other sectors.

The Zondo report said that Bain worked in “collusion” with Zuma, who it said was directly involved in a scheme to undermine the tax service.

The British government said it had taken the decision “in light of Bain’s responsibility as a global brand for its South Africa division and the company’s failure to clarify the facts and circumstances of its involvement”.

“The UK strongly supports the South African authorities’ ongoing efforts to tackle corruption and promote accountability,” it added.

 

Africa Daily News, New York

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