A Leaked Federal Police Interview With A Senior Leighton Exec Paints A Nasty Picture

Wal King. Photo: AFP

Yesterday media reports made claims of widespread corruption at iconic Australian construction company Leighton, and accused longtime chief executive Wal King of being aware of the malpractice.

Today Fairfax Media has published details of an Australian Federal Police Interview with a unnamed former senior executive, which was conducted as part of an ongoing investigation into bribery at the company earlier this year.

It does not paint a pretty picture of Leighton’s international arm, the section of the business which is at the centre of the claims.

Here’s some of what the senior executive said, according to the Fairfax report:

“[Leighton] International had almost no corporate governance at all and you look at some of the processes and problems that we uncovered … there was just a litany of disasters. I would say that there was really no effective corporate governance framework in LIL.

“… the current chairman, Robert Humphris, was on the Leighton International board for years and years. So he would have been sitting on both [the LH and LIL boards] .. but I never got the sense that the board was excited by this stuff.

“The way that Leighton International had been managed was an absolute disaster from a commercial perspective. In the view of Stewart and Bill Wild, who was David’s deputy, pretty much everything that Leighton International had touched was a disaster, either commercially [or] we felt that there were many aspects of the Leighton international business which were corrupt.”

In the transcript the senior exec is accusing Leighton chairman Bob Humphris along with other directors of a massive failure in governance. Fairfax has also obtained an email from Leighton’s chief operating office Bill Wild, who reportedly claims corruption was widespread.

There is more here.

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