Recalcitrant Oil-for-Food opportunists must be disqualified from future contracts, says TI

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

The United Nations (UN), development banks, and governments must debar companies from future contracting where sufficient evidence of corruption exists. Danish company Grundfos' admission of corruption in conjunction with the UN's Iraqi Oil-for-Food programme provides another startling example of the public interest subverted for private gain.

The UN's Independent Inquiry Committee on the Oil-for-Food programme has called on at least 140 Danish companies to disclose details of their participation in the controversial initiative. The Danish National Agency for Enterprise and Construction estimates that Danish companies conducted business worth EUR 440 million under the programme.

'Grundfos is not the only company to have engaged in wrongdoing', said Jens Berthelsen, Deputy Chairman of Transparency International's national chapter in Denmark. He urged other companies to cooperate with investigations, adding, 'An honest admission of wrongdoing is preferable to wilful deceit. The sanctions applied should reflect this.'

'Corruption can never be tolerated, but it is especially sickening when it diverts resources from public programmes designed to help people desperately in need', said TI Chairman Peter Eigen. 'Where there is sufficient evidence of corruption in the context of Oil-for-Food, companies should be debarred from bidding on future projects, especially in cases where companies have shown no will to co-operate or change their behaviour.' Eigen continued, saying, 'On the other hand, premature allegations against individuals driven by political motives, are not productive.'

The unfolding Oil-for-Food scandal shows that governments of wealthy states are failing to fulfill their obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which criminalises foreign bribery for signatories. While the business community in OECD countries has been publicly supportive of curbing corruption, there is a lack of awareness of the Convention among both public and private sector decision-makers. Cumbersome legal procedures and a lack of cross-border co-operation have meant that few cases have been successfully prosecuted under the Convention.

The Oil-For-Food programme, which was in operation from December 1996 until November 2003, allowed Iraq to sell oil to pay for food and humanitarian supplies. The former Iraqi government under President Saddam Hussein extorted bribes and surcharges from handpicked buyers of Iraqi oil and vendors of humanitarian goods, and is estimated to have amassed between US$ 1.7 billion and US$ 4.7 billion, according to various studies.


Transparency International is the leading global civil society organisation devoted to the fight against corruption.

For any press enquiries please contact

Sarah Tyler
Jesse Garcia
Tel: +49-30-3438 2019/45
Mobile: +49-162-419 6454
Fax: +49-30-3470 3912
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Support Transparency International

Apply Now for Transparency International School on Integrity!

Apply today for the Transparency School 2018 and spend an insightful week with anti-corruption enthusiasts from all over the world!

Blog: Making Summits Meaningful: A How to Guide for Heads of Government

Heads of Government spend a lot of time in glitzy international summits. World leaders shouldn't fly around the world just for a photo op or to announce new commitments they have no intention of keeping. Here's is a how-to guide for Heads of Government to make summits meaningful.

While the G20 drags its feet, the corrupt continue to benefit from anonymous company ownership

The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? You can anonymously open bank accounts, make transfers and launder dirty money. If the company is not registered in your name, it can't always be traced back to you.

Urging leaders to act against corruption in the Americas

The hot topic at the 2018 Summit of the Americas is how governments can combat corruption at the highest levels across North and South America.

The impact of land corruption on women: insights from Africa

As part of International Women’s Day, Transparency International is launching the Women, Land and Corruption resource book. This is a collection of unique articles and research findings that describe and analyse the prevalence of land corruption in Africa – and its disproportionate effect on women – presented together with innovative responses from organisations across the continent.

Passport dealers of Europe: navigating the Golden Visa market

Coast or mountains? Real estate or business investment? Want your money back in five years? If you're rich, there are an array of options for European ‘Golden Visas’ at your fingertips, each granting EU residence or citizenship rights.

How the G20 can make state-owned enterprises champions of integrity

For the first time in its presidency of the G20, Argentina is hosting country representatives from across the globe to address the best ways of curtailing corruption and promoting integrity in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Europe and Central Asia: More civil engagement needed (Part II)

As follow-up to the regional analysis of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, additional examples from Albania, Kosovo and Georgia highlight the need for more progress in anti-corruption efforts in these countries and across the region.

Lutte contre la corruption en Afrique: Du bon et du moins bon

La publication de la dernière édition de l’Indice de perception de la corruption (IPC) offre un bon point de repère pour situer les efforts de lutte contre la corruption que l’Union africaine (UA) poursuivra tout au long de 2018

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world