Saturday 19th of October 2019

AWB- Who changed the script?

Given the totality of the apology drafted by AWB's Andrew Lindberg, what was the catalyst for assuming their apparent legal strategy of forgetfulness after having created such a self-damning document?

[From The Australian]

1. As a result of the Volcker inquiry into the OFF (oil-for-food)
Program AWB accepts that in paying money for inland transportation and
after sales service it paid money to the Iraq government in
contravention of the UN sanctions.

2. Even though there were warning signs to some employees that this may
have been occurring AWB did not challenge these payments and was not
alert to the potential consequences of making these payments. For this
we are truly sorry and deeply regret any damage this may have caused to
Australia's trading reputation, the Australian government or the United
Nations.

3. AWB in pursuing its constitutional requirement to maximise
returns to the Australian farmer in selling their wheat took a
commercial and technical compliance approach to the UN sanctions but
failed to consider the broader purposes of the UN sanctions. This was a
failure, at the time, of the culture, systems and procedures which the
company deeply regrets and is committed to continuing to improve.

4. Even though the transaction concerning BHP Petroleum in
recovering payment for a prior wheat shipment was well intentioned and
AWB believed complied with the UN sanctions, it should not have
occurred without specific authorisation of the Australian government
and the United Nations. AWB regrets this did not occur.

5. Even though AWB relied on the United Nations' supervision
and authorisation of each contract the company should have established
its own internal systems of checks and balances such that it did not
participate (and may have even aided stopping) the systematic and
widespread abuse of the OFF program. We deeply regret and apologise for
not having done so.

6. While AWB can ex-post rationalise its participation in the
OFF Program and claim it did not have the benefit of hindsight or the
complete picture, this does not excuse what occurred and is not offered
as an excuse. We simply should have done better; and I am deeply sorry
we didn't.

 

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The two AWB sceria are so opposite as to suggest that a major "cattle prod" has been applied to cause the ethical shift   I wonder what it was ?

 

Clumsy?

From our ABC

AWB lawyer denies ignoring ethics
Senior AWB lawyer Jessica Lyons has told the oil-for-food inquiry she did not put her legal ethics aside to work out how to circumvent UN sanctions.

The Iraqi Grains Board wanted $US2.2 million as compensation for alleged wheat contamination.

Ms Lyons received outside legal advice that a lump sum payment would breach UN sanctions.

She told AWB executives they could pay over time as long as it was to a company outside Iraq, and they could also get a deal for more wheat sales.

Commissioner Terence Cole says the advice reads as, "We can't pay, here's a way of getting around sanctions on Iraq, and an argument that we're not paying Iraq".

Ms Lyons says she never put her legal ethics aside but her advice was clumsy and she was concerned about it.

The inquiry is investigation $290 million worth of kickbacks paid by AWB to the regime of Saddam Hussein.

staying the course .....

Shucks Gus,

Seems like Ms Lyons is simply trying to emulate the tried & true defence tactics mounted by the rodent & co but, like most lawyers, she's made a mess of a simple issue by over-complicating it.

Instead of denying that she'd put her "legal ethics" aside, the intrepid AWB lawyer could have simply claimed to have never had any to start with ..... just like little lawyer johnnee does when he's reminded that Saddam had no WMDs ..... "well, we're better off without him anyway".

Of course it's all 'small beer' when stacked-up against the criminality of bushit & his fraternity. Just think, if Ms Lyons manages to "stay the course", she could wind-up with an ambassadorship or an appointment to the Telstra board.

Anything's possible in john howard's "aspirational prosperity" culture.

surprise, surprise ....

The man who led the Australian Federal Police investigation into the AWB scandal has alleged he was offered a promotion to shut down the inquiry.

In an explosive statement lodged with the Federal Court, the former AFP agent Ross Fusca said another senior officer told him that if he could ''make the oil-for-food taskforce go away, he would be appointed as next co-ordinator''.

Mr Fusca, a 30-year AFP veteran, has declared the inquiry into the wheat marketing body was never given enough resources and was shut down prematurely.

And he has alleged the police's AWB taskforce - which ran from late 2006 to August 2009 - had a high-level political informant who indicated that federal government officials were aware of AWB's payment of kickbacks.

In an interview with the Herald and ABC television's 7.30, Mr Fusca said he believed the offer of a promotion represented an improper inducement.

Mr Fusca's Federal Court claim also alleges that a day after the offer of promotion was made, another senior AFP officer pressured him into finishing the taskforce's work prematurely.

Court documents state: "[The officer] insisted that the brief be completed by April 2009, claiming that the taskforce was out of budget. The applicant [Mr Fusca] maintained his position that an April 2009 deadline for the brief was unachievable" and that the earliest it could be finished was December 2009.

In a statement last night, the AFP said it was aware of Mr Fusca's claims, but that it could not comment.

The AFP shut down the taskforce in August 2009, handing responsibility for the case to the corporate watchdog ASIC. The AFP said its decision was partly based on advice given by Peter Hastings, QC, who was said to have warned that a criminal prosecution of former AWB managers was unlikely to be successful and not in the public interest. But Mr Fusca said that when the AFP made its decision, the taskforce had "months and months" of work to complete in order to gather all the relevant evidence.

The AFP yesterday refused to release Mr Hastings' 2009 advice, but said that the taskforce had confronted a ''number of challenges'' beyond its control.

The Herald has also obtained earlier confidential advice from Mr Hastings, which was written in April 2008 and states that the AFP had a sound legal foundation from which to build a criminal case if they could prove AWB employees had hidden the kickbacks in wheat contracts to Iraq.

"I agree that there is a proper basis for pursuing a case of fraud to the effect that … [officials were] deceived into granting approval [to AWB] for the export of wheat to Iraq,'' the Hastings advice states.

Mr Fusca is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the AWB investigation.

Mr Fusca resigned from the AFP in late 2010 and is alleging the AFP breached the Fair Work Act by mistreating him after he raised internal concerns about the mismanagement of the AWB taskforce. He is seeking damages.

The AFP said last night that it had dealt appropriately with the concerns Mr Fusca had raised internally and that the AWB taskforce had more than 20 state and federal officers and a multi-million dollar budget before it was wound down.

The federal police-led taskforce was set up in late 2006 as a result of the Cole Royal Commission. The commission found that AWB Limited and some of its executives had corruptly paid $300 million of kickbacks to the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, but that no Australian government officials knew of these payments. But Mr Fusca said a credible political informant had provided the AFP with intelligence that suggested ''senior government officials were aware … of the kickbacks''.

Mr Fusca's career started its downward slide in late 2008, after he wrote an email to his superiors which complained about the taskforce's ongoing and "severe staffing problem".

The email, sent on December 18, 2008, stated: "Our counterparts at ASIC and the Victoria Police have raised questions on how serious the AFP is taking this Taskforce … if this attitude continues and the Taskforce is subjected to various degrees of contempt, then you will need to find yourself another co-ordinator. I refuse to be treated like a fool. The taskforce need proper support. This is a high priority AFP national investigation."

Mr Fusca was given lesser duties after the email was sent. He then took leave, but returned to the AFP in March 2009, after which he has alleged he was sidelined and offered only menial work. He has alleged his subsequent efforts to have his concerns dealt with internally were ignored, a point denied yesterday by the AFP.

Mr Fusca's lawyer, Nicole Spicer, said his treatment by the AFP was appalling and that the community had lost a committed and honest police officer.

Cop Told - Make AWB Probe Go-Away