Canadian Manufacturing

SNC-Lavalin unveils amnesty program in bid to battle corruption

Program rolled out to encourage employees to report potential internal corruption, anti-competition



MONTREAL—As SNC-Lavalin continues to battle its way back from allegations of company-wide corruption, the engineering and construction giant has announced a new program to protect employees who report crookedness and fraud.

The firm, headquarted in Montreal, announced a company-wide amnesty program to encourage current employees to report potential internal corruption and anti-competition.

“Amnesty programs are known to be highly effective means of getting to the bottom of ethics and compliance issues in large organizations,” newly-appointed chief compliance officer Andreas Pohlmann said in a statement.

Pohlmann’s hiring and the implementation of the amnesty program come in the wake of sweeping corruption allegations that saw former CEO Pierre Duhaime and another former top executive, Riadh Ben Aissa, charged with fraud in connection with a contract involving the building of the multi-billion dollar McGill University Health Centre in Montreal.

The company has also been embroiled in allegations of corruption and misconduct in Cambodia and Libya.

The new amnesty program, which SNC-Lavalin says is the first of its kind initiated by a Canadian company, guarantees the firm won’t make claims for damages or unilaterally terminate employees who come forward to report violations.

According to the company, the offer does not extend to top executives or anyone who directly profited from an ethical violation.

To be eligible for amnesty, an employee must file a request with Aissa within the 90-day period between June 3 and August 31, 2013.

“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,” Aissa said.

“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.”

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