In the face of illegal, corrupt behaviour that is threatening democracy, affecting social and economic development, placing an extra burden on public finances and stripping companies of their value at the expense of small shareholders and investors, questions need to be asked about the effectiveness of the means devoted to eradicating corruption. This is the objective of the work Sherpa has set itself.
As a premise to publishing research on the subject, Sherpa will bring several factsheets detailing cases and patterns of corruption to the attention of not only the public but also shareholders and investors. The aim of these sheets will be to provide all interested parties with relevant information so that they can take any action available to them.
The first factsheet in the series concerns the Alstom Group.
In December 2014 the company was sentenced by the US Justice Department to a record fine of 772 million dollars for instances of corruption stretching back more than a decade in every corner of the globe. In addition, Alstom is the subject of investigations in several other countries. Yet the company has an internal anti-corruption programme in place. It has also communicated on many occasions about changes it has made to culture and practices. The disparity between the discourse and the reality raises questions both about the effectiveness of such programmes and about the responsibility of the directors.
The next Annual General Meeting in June will be an opportunity for shareholders to hold the company directors to account for their behaviour. We hope to aid them in this initiative.
Click below to read the factsheet.
Last modified: 22 July 2015