SNC-Lavalin launches “amnesty” for corruption whistleblowers

30 May 2013

Canadian engineer SNC-Lavalin has launched an "amnesty program" to encourage employees to root out corruption.

Amid multiple ethics scandals at home and abroad which have seen two top executives arrested and the company banned from World Bank-funded projects, the globally active firm is calling on employees to blow the whistle on corrupt practices, and says staff who do will not lose their jobs or have damages claimed against them.

But the amnesty doesn’t apply to some senior executives in the President or Management Committee groups, or anyone "who directly profited from an ethical violation", the company said.

Headquarters of SNC-Lavalin, Montreal (Credit: Gene Arboit)

Staff have 90 days between June and September this year to file an "amnesty request" to the company’s ethics boss, Andreas Pohlmann, who was brought in from Siemens as "chief compliance officer" in February this year amid the intensifying scandals.

SNC-Lavalin believes it is the first Canadian company to institute such an amnesty.

"Our goal is to turn the page on a challenging chapter in the company’s history, so we can focus all of our attention on creating value for our stakeholders," said Mr Pohlmann in a statement.

"Amnesty programs are known to be highly effective means of getting to the bottom of ethics and compliance issues in large organizations," he added. "While the vast majority of SNC-Lavalin’s employees will have nothing to report, this offer of amnesty will allow us to uncover and quickly deal with any remaining issues."

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