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BG Group CEO Chris Finlayson, past indiscretions at Shell

In summary, Finlayson (right) sees himself as a victim to the goings-on in 1999, just one of many victims in the then Shell Expro, described in our Audit notes as a hostile environment of extreme denial.  I can concur that Chris was a victim, when for example he made light of the Touch F-All scandal in various press statements of which there is an audio record he did so because his Brent Field Manager Jorn Berget misled him.  He soon realised this but despite many attempts by me and his Internal Audit Manager he would not retract the statement.  In fear, no doubt for his job, his future promotion prospects etc, and led by the ear by his mentor and boss Malcolm Brinded he toed the line.

EMAIL RECEIVED FROM MR BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

From: Bill Campbell
Subject: Proposed article
Date: 6 June 2013 21:34:31 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]

Contacted Mark Leftly recently, also Mr Burrows at BG, re the Independent article written by Mark ref BG’s new chief breached safety rules when at Shell.

Essentially brought both parties up to speed in what those breaches were.  If you need to see the detail I am sure Mr Leftly will oblige with a copy.  I am in US and do not have access to my files.

BG Group did not respond to my correspondence, And also to date have as I understand it never commented in detail on the Independent article.  Silence we may assume is consent.

I asked Neil if BG wanted to see the evidence etc but no reply.

My conclusion, not unreasonably so, is that having put these facts to Chris Finlayson, he concurs it would seem with the facts as written and I assume has fully explained his past indiscretions to his new employer.

In summary, Finlayson sees himself as a victim to the goings-on in 1999, just one of many victims in the then Shell Expro, described in our Audit notes as a hostile environment of extreme denial.  I can concur that Chris was a victim, when for example he made light of the Touch F-All scandal in various press statements of which there is an audio record he did so because his Brent Field Manager Jorn Berget misled him.  He soon realised this but despite many attempts by me and his Internal Audit Manager he would not retract the statement.  In fear, no doubt for his job, his future promotion prospects etc, and led by the ear by his mentor and boss Malcolm Brinded he toed the line.

When RDS investigated (in 2005) both his and his bosses part in the resultant deaths on Brent Bravo in 2003 Finlayson stuck to his original story so we have consistency.  When asked if he had accepted the audit findings in 1999 he replied that he had, apparently reluctantly, this reluctance and the premature halt of the 1999 Audit the RDS investigation claimed were contributory factors to the deaths.  In short, things that needed to be done to reduce risks were never carried out and as a consequence two men died..

As jam in a sandwich he was squeezed by both sides, Berget and Brinded vs his internal auditors and in his own words accepted the findings only to stop the bun fight between these parties.  He didn’t like, and did not seem able to handle confrontation and stick up for the hundreds of workers offshore to whom he had legal obligations to protect.

When I requested that the Brent Management Team be suspended his story was that he played no part in this, Brinded took these decisions.  One of the few actions he did take was to ascertain the facts for himself by sending his Safety Manager to an interview session with Berget.  This is where it was accepted by the Brent Manager and his Deputy that ESD valves when failing had their maintenance records doctored, falsified as no fault found.

Finlayson accepts this as a fact, so did his colleague Greg Hill in 2003 but Van der Veer told the Times (Carl Morished) et al and in a personal note to me in July 2006 that there was no evidence that ESD valve records were falsified.  So Van der Veer lied and I have explained many times why he felt he needed to do so to cover up the negligence of Brinded to protect the reputation of RDS.

So I am thinking of two titles for an article which I hope you will print, perhaps Mark can help.

One,

BG’s new chief accepts he was a victim of a hostile and brutal regime when he was at Shell

or,

BG’s new chief confirms that when at Shell his CEO lied to protect him and cover-up his failures

Van der Veer is about to leave his position as a non executive Director with RDS,maybe this would be a nice parting gift,

You may wish to discuss the title with our mutual friend Michiel Brandjes, – what camp does he take?

rgds

Bill

ADDED BY BILL CAMPBELL 10 JUNE 2013

John

I mis-spelled the Times journalist name, it was Carl Mortished

He wrote an article July 19 2006 re Unions Call for Manslaughter law after Shell death inquiry, you will probably have this in your system

A relevant quote below

Shell says that it accepted the 1999 audits findings and responded with improvements, although it said that subsequent inquiries found no verifiable evidence of falsification by platform  management

I challenged Van der Veer directly on this and he replied in agreement with above Times statement via his PA, his reply is in one of the bundles of evidence you hold I think Bundle d re ESD valves

He never replied after I passed him his authenticated documents including a strictly confidential document from the Shell internal audit manager UEFA to the then Oil Director Chris Finlayson where the said Auditor raises this as but one of many serious concerns and ask what is happening, his further concern on 22 October 1999, the date of his note is that nothing appeared to be happening to these concerns and implicit in this was that persons offshore were being put under intolerable risks. When I passed Van der Veer the files saying he was totally contradicting his own internal audit findings which had been converted later into specific actions on an implementation plan he went quiet, no more correspondence from him and no retraction.

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