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Siemens | Electronic Back Channel Diplomacy

snowwhite

Source: Estadão. The São Paulo daily relates new details in the bribery and cartel formation scandal in São Paulo. Today’s coverage is a little forced, even if it opens the door to sophomoric humor (above). The question of fictional e-mail identities relates to the problem of identifying Brazilian actors in the scheme confessed to by SIemens.

The use of unofficial accounts to communicate what cannot be communicated through official channels takes us back to the Bush White House, where official correspondence — which technically belongs to John Q. Public — was routed through partisan GOP servers.

The Republicans seemed to have decided that the State is the Party and the Party, the State.

The figure of interest here is the consultant, whose identity is not firmly established, although one candidate is pointed to as a person of interest: Arthur Teixeira of Procint.

To avoid using their official e-mail accounts, Siemens employees created “ghost accounts” to correspond with a “consultant” the terms of a public auction held by the São Paulo commuter rail service, CPTM, in 2005, during the Alckmin (PSDB) administration. The e-mail addresses were baptized with the names of fairy tale characters, such as “Snow White” and “Seven Dwarves.”

In May of this year Siemens entered into a plea agreement with antitrust agency CADE in which it admitted belonging to a cartel of companies operating in the passenger rail sector in São Paulo and the Federal District between 1998 and 2008.

In one of the documents handed over to CADE, there are copies of the e-mail accounts created for negotiations with the “consultant.” At least four persons knew of these e-mail accounts, among them one of the former execs who denounced the cartel scheme.

The auction discussed by “neve.branca@gmail.com” and “sete.anoes@gmail.com” is the same one in which company executives knew they would win even before the São Paulo government publicized the competition. as revealed in early August. The bidding process began in 2004 and ended in 2005.

In an e-mail forwarded to four persons, dated May 24, 2005,   employee Eder Luciano Saizaki wrote: “To facilitate communication with the consultant we have created the following e-mail accounts: neve.branca@gmail.com and sete.anoes@gmail.com. These e-mail accounts offer 2 gigabytes of storage, which I think should be more than enough for our needs.”

Among the recipients of this correspondence was Peter Andreas Gölitz, who ran a business unit in the passenger rail division and was one of six ex-Siemens employees who signed the plea deal with CADE.

Another recipient was Carlos Teixeira, a manager at MGE Transportes, a service provider with which the German multinational had agreed to associate itself.  Investigators on the case believe that MGE may have served as one intermediate destination of the bribes paid by Siemens to public officials.

A Sérgio Teixeira is also involved in the scheme, alongside an Arthur. See

In this particular contract, Alstom and Siemens made use of the lobbyists Arthur Teixeira and Sérgio Teixeira as consultants. Documents in our possession since last week showed that these men operated through two offshores, located in Uruguay: Leraawy Consulting S/A and Gantown Consulting S/A. To leave no trace of the bribe, both made use of Swiss bank accounts, according to the investigation.

But again, it is early days to be belaboring the Teixeira connection in regard to all of the contracts under scrutiny.

The e-mail from Eder Saizaki did not name the consultant with whom recipients of the message were to communicate. With respect to the CPTM bidding process in 2005, the only consulting firm whose name appears in the documentary evidence turned over to CADE is Procint, a company owned by lobbyist Arthur Teixeira.

Police and prosecutors — which, like CADE, are investigating the facts according to Siemens …  suspect that two offshore companies in the name of Teixeira in Uruguay provided another route for smuggling bribe money used by Siemens.

Approach. In an e-mail dated October 29, 2004, Peter Gölitz says he had attended a meeting at Procint to discuss the CPTM bidding process, saying that he had been contacted by members of a company called CCC, which, according to him, wanted to approach Siemens and had attended a meeting at  MGE.

“I know that our group is alreadly closed, so I am not talking cooperation. It would interesting, however, to keep them occupied  so that they don’t have time to align themselves with another company –According to Procint, CCC, Mitsui and other small companies would be left out of the deals,” he wrote.

Siemens would not comment on the case. Asked if it had applied for a court order to disclose the content of the private communications, the São Paulo government said it would “not hesitate to appeal to the judiciary, as many times as necessary, to obtain information essential to recovering financial damages caused by the alleged cartel.” Alckmin recalled that he had already filed a suit for damages against Siemens.

Captain Compliance

In a related story — an interview with Exame magazine, Klaus Moosmayer, global director of compliance, says that the company has cleaned up its act and put its house in order.

(1) EXAME — In Brazil, the Siemens brand has become associated with corruption. As chief compliance officer. what have you to say about this?

Klaus Moosmayer – I do not agree with point of view. Siemens today is not the Siemens of old. The company has transformed itself and is more successful than ever. Obviously, the fraud scandals of the past were painful, but I do not know any other company that has undergone a clean-up as we have. This purge is difficult, but we believe it is worth the price.

2) EXAME – How do you feel about the leaking of the case [to the press]?

Klaus Moosmayer – You must understand that we are unable to comment on the case. We respect and comply with Brazilian law and the confidentiality rule. As to news reports about decisions in the German courts, regarding 8 million euros paid as a bribe, I can say that we are not aware of any such thing.

We work hard and will continue to work hard to discover irregular deals from times past. But not everything that seems dubious now is illegal. Judgment must be made on a case-by-case basis.

More translation TK

3) EXAME – Quando a empresa descobre sinais de fraude, tem de se autodenunciar imediatamente?

Klaus Moosmayer – Quando há sinais suficientes, sim. É claro que precisamos contar com autoridades profissionais e confiáveis. É preciso ter um ambiente que recompense quem trabalha dentro dos padrões legais e éticos.

4) EXAME – Por que as empresas levam tanto tempo para expor casos de má conduta e fraude?

Klaus Moosmayer – Para reunir provas, temos de fazer investigações abrangentes. Na Siemens, criamos uma área com investigadores experientes contratados. Mas há casos antigos em que os funcionários já deixaram a empresa, e as evidências se foram. Às vezes, levamos anos para obter informações de autoridades públicas.

5) EXAME – Haverá mais casos como esse no Brasil?

Klaus Moosmayer – Mesmo o melhor sistema de controle não consegue prevenir más condutas individuais. Podemos controlar tudo? Não. Mas, se soubermos de algo, vamos investigar.

6) EXAME – Que tipo de acordo a Siemens já fez para corrigir atos ilegais?

Klaus Moosmayer – Fizemos um com as autoridades alemãs e americanas para encerrar um capítulo triste de nossa história. Foi um acordo alcançado em tempo recorde, 18 meses de investigações e cooperação com as agências reguladoras.

7) EXAME – How is Brazil doing in the fight against corruption?

Klaus Moosmayer – An important step is the new anti-corruption law, recently passed. I am certain …. Um passo importante é a nova lei anticorrupção, que foi promulgada recentemente. Estou certo de que só a integridade pode ajudar a estabelecer um legado duradouro para a sociedade. Essa é uma das demandas dos protestos de rua.

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