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Whistleblower | Collusion in 2002


Source: Folha de S.Paulo

The São Paulo commuter rail system (CPTM) held two international auctions in 2002, won by Siemens and Alstom, in which results were directed and competition quashed, according to the state accounting tribunal (TCE). The TCE considers the auctions irreuglar.

The updated valor of the two contracts, which involved the maintenance of two models of train, is R$ 430 million.

Alstom and another 17 companies made up the cartel, according to Siemens, which denounced the scheme as part of a plea bargain. All were contracted, directly or indirectly, to perform maintenance work on the CPTM.

The document in which Siemens confesses the irregularities cites the competition for these maintenance contracts ”  “[…] If the companies do not enter into a non-competitive agreement, Siemens would present a proposal at a much lower price.  […]. In a situation of effective competition, Siemens would present a proposal 30% lower.”

If what Siemens says is true, the CPTM paid R$ 129 million more. CPTM says it performed an internal audit and concluded the state coffers had not been abused.

The contracts were signed in 2002, a week apart, and incur in practically the same irregularities. At the time, Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) was state governor.


The TCE says in its opinion that the steering was accomplished by means of a time of experience  requirement of the employees of the companies that wanted to perform the service. This supposedly occurred in two phases of the competition, the prequalification and the contract award. This action was illegal.

Demanding professional experience is permitted in the prequalification as a way of barring the entry of company that are technically unprepared.

The problem, according to the TCE, is that after the companies proved their experience, this requirement was used in point-based rating system that privileged companies with more experienced engineers.

In this way, a company with a engineer of  10 to 12 years experience obtained a rating of 8 points. A competition with 12 years earned 16 points. There was no explanation of why an engineer with 13 years experience was worth double what an engineer with 12 was worth.

A CPTM director at the time contacted the Folha and, on condition of anonymity, said that the technical requirements were used to bar small companies and steer the auction.

In the dispute for the maintenance contracts on the  Brasília subway, Siemens hired two Alstom employees in order to increase its point count. The strategy was successful.

Other Side

THe CPTM says that internal investigations on the two contracts concluded the public coffers did not suffer from the 2002 contracts.

The purpose of the international auctions was to provide maintenance services on ten trains from the 3000 series and 48 from Series 2100. The contracts paid R$ 33.7 million to Siemens) and R$ 154.7 million (to Alstom-CAF), in current values.

Alstom said it begain investigating after being notified by the state accounting tribunal (TCE) and that the TCE received its conclusions.

The CPTM says the TCE cases were not closed until the services were rendered and the contracts expired.

CPTM said it would not comment on questions related to the supposed division of contracts among contractors. .


Procurada pela reportagem, a Alstom diz ter recebido “um pedido do Cade para apresentar documentos relacionados a um procedimento administrativo referente à lei concorrencial. A empresa está colaborando com as autoridades.”


A confissão de que integrava um cartel no Brasil faz parte de uma estratégia da Siemens alemã de tentar acabar com os negócios ilícitos envolvendo suas filiais mundo afora. Há razões econômicas e de mercado.

Por causa do pagamento de propina, a Siemens pagou multas de € 1,2 bilhão (R$ 3,6 bilhões) para órgãos do governo dos EUA e da Alemanha em 2008 e 2009.

A multa foi paga porque a Siemens violou lei norte-americana que veta pagamento de propina para companhias que têm negócios naquele país. A Siemens violou essa lei na Argentina, na Venezuela, na Turquia, no Kuwait e em países da Ásia Central.

No acordo brasileiro, a empresa confessou práticas anticoncorrenciais, mas não menciona propina.

A Siemens publica na capa da edição deste domingo (11) da Folha informe publicitário (veja abaixo) em que reafirma cooperar com as autoridades no esclarecimento das denúncias de suposto cartel no fornecimento de trens e manutenção de linhas. A multinacional sustenta ainda que estabeleceu, desde 2007, sistema para detectar, remediar e prevenir práticas ilícitas.