Hugh Bayley MP, a member of the international development select committee, has succeeded in pushing defence firm BAE system into returning £29.5m to the Tanzia government following their controversial overpayment for a radar system.
The Labour MP for York central has put out a statement welcoming BAE Systems’ belated confirmation that it will repay the Tanzanian Government as required following their conviction for an accounting offence in relation to the sale of an air traffic control system in the country.
Bayley first persuaded the International Development Committee to hold an inquiry into the affair. BAE Systems were called to give oral evidence on 19 July 2011. At the evidence session Mr Bayley warned the company’s Group General Counsel, Philip Bramwell, that it “would do your company a great deal of good if the entire £29.5 million was passed to a third party – DFID seems to be the most obvious one – before we write the report”. On 9th September BAE confirmed that the full payment of funds would be made directly to the Tanzanian authorities.
Speaking after the BAE announcemend the repayment Hugh Bayley MP said:
“BAE in its fine and this payment to Tanzania is having to pay back every penny it earned from this contract.
The money must be used by the Tanzanian Government to benefit the people of the country. They were the ones who lost out when cash which should have been spent on schools and health care was used instead to pay for a grossly overpriced and unnecessary radar system.
I have campaigned for tougher laws against transnational bribery and other financial crimes because it is the poor who lose out when developing countries get snared by dodgy contracts. This case sends out a clear signal that British companies must be transparent about international contracts and abide by the law.”
The full international development committee statement on the BAE inquiry can be found here.