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Royal Dutch Shell attempt to undermine anti-corruption initiative

Royal Dutch Shell has taken action in an attempt to neutralize planned anti-corruption transparency rules that would force Shell, and other natural resource companies, to disclose all payments to foreign regimes.

By John Donovan

The Financial Times reports that Royal Dutch Shell has taken action in an attempt to neutralize planned anti-corruption transparency rules that would force Shell, and other natural resource companies, to disclose all payments to foreign regimes.

The new rules are intended to cover EU and US quoted businesses.

Their purpose is to identify corrupt regimes receiving major income from extractive industries, including oil and gas, who siphon off the proceeds.

According to the FT, Shell CFO Simon Henry has written to the UK business minister, Norman Lamb, setting out the oil giants concerns and pushing a series of alternative proposals, which would dilute the anti-corruption rules.

Corrupt regimes in Brunei, Nigeria, Malaysia, etc will be following this battle with considerable interest.

The hypocritical machinations by Shell are directly at odds with anti-corruption speeches made by Richard Wiseman, prior to his retirement last March as the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Anti-corruption speech by Richard Wiseman, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer: 20 November 2008

Extract

…we always have a certain degree of influence over others – for example, our influence over our contractors, our suppliers, the host governments and our customers.

Under these circumstances, Shell has no choice but to be a leading voice in the battle against corruption and champion a high set of business ethics and compliance standard and to lead by example.

Shell’s poacher turned gamekeeper ethics chief giving anti-corruption speech: 17 March 2010

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