Monday 24th of June 2024

Halliburton- Australian tax breaks for bribes ?

 In Australia, foreign bribes are tax-deductable

The  Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found Australia should increase fines for companies that bribe foreign officials

It's also concerned that lining the pockets of foreign officials to "grease the wheels of progress" will get you a discount at the Australian Taxation Office.  The ATO calls the bribes "facilitation payments"

The Australian-based company that the world knows best for bribery is Halliburton.  A subsidiary company, wholly owned by its U.S. parent, Halliburton organises construction projects worldwide from its offices in Adelaide, South Australia.  With many projects in many countries, many wheels could need greasing.

In August last year the Nigerian Government voted unanimiously to summon Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar to explain KBR's role in paying bribes to secure a major oil contracts.  Investigation is continuing in three countries.

Nearer to home, KBR has a strong presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.  It also carries out faid contracts for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As a example,  when KBR in Adelaide organises reconstruction work in Iraq, how much does it allocate in its budget to keep local officials happy?  Extrapolate the question over half a dozen countries and it becomes a hairy one.

Bribes appear to be unnecessary in Australia, where local officials are afraid to reject KBR tenders on political grounds because of possible legal ramifications.   This is probably not the case in Iraq.  In budgeting the cost of infrastructure reconstruction projects, how much KBR Adelaide allow to keep Iraqi local government officials happy?  Perhaps the payments come from the Cayman Islands office, but where do the cheques get written?   I'm guessing Greenhill Road, Parkside, South Australia. 

IT may be, as Attorney General Phillip Ruddock stated yesterday, that "It's one in which we treat any offences seriously, we investigate them."  However, given that the Australian Government has not implemented an inquiry into possible Australian involvement in KBR's Nigerian bribery, and if such is the case for such a publicly prominent situation, the magnitude of activity by an Australian-based company would need to be stupendous before the Australian Government would contemplate the possibility of raising an eyebrow, and is likely to be giving perpetrators a discount for conducting their activities from Australa.


Profit on the cards?

In Letters to The Age, Jan 18th: 

Made in Adelaide?


THE ID card should be developed and introduced by the Defence Department. This will ensure that it will be over budget, late, poorly designed, made of second-hand materials, inconsistent with design specifications - and made in Adelaide.
Adrian Tabor, St Albans Park


That scooped the pool, and dragged up more than leaf litter and dead bees.


locked-up in chains ....

Yes TG, 


CCTV cameras, identity cards, phone taps — our liberty is at risk from this lust to control society  


‘Rousseau gave the first modern warning. In 1762 he published his Social Contract, which contains the famous statement: “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” H.G. Wells gave a similar warning in 1895 in The Time Machine. For modern readers, the two great novels are Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, published in 1932, the year before Hitler came to power; and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949. Rousseau was attacking the archaic tyrannies that had lasted into his age; he underrated the dangers of the scientific future. Wells, Huxley, and Orwell had seen the early development of the scientific age in which we live; they raised the alarm. 


Someone To Watch Over You



Letters and signs

That little letter (now circulation, thanks) and the dog-catcher have encapsulated my existance in half an hour.

It's easier to write when you're p****d off !  (see newest entry)