Banning Bain & Co from US government contracts, Joe Biden called | Corporate governance

Joe Biden should follow the UK in banning global management consultancy Bain & Company from future government contracts, Labor peer Peter Hain has said.

In a letter shared with the Guardian, the former minister and anti-apartheid activist urged the US president to “act on this matter and set a clear precedent that will signal to all American global companies, consultants, lawyers, auditors and financial advisors as colluding. with corrupt politicians and their business friends in other countries will not be tolerated.”

Last month, Bain was banned from bidding for UK government contracts for three years because of “serious professional misconduct” in South African state corruption matters. Britain became the first western country to take this step, following pressure from Lord Hayne.

In January, the Guardian revealed that the Labor peer had asked Boris Johnson’s government to punish Bain, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts, for its “despicable” role in South Africa’s biggest post-apartheid corruption scandal .

In his letter to Biden, Hayne wrote: “I urge the US government to impose a similar ban on Bain from working for any public sector organization in your country, at least until the current legal proceedings regarding his nefarious role are fully concluded Bain in South Africa. course.”

He sent a copy of the document to Ron Kidd, the chairman of the British-American caucus in the US House of Representatives.

The UK government’s decision followed the findings of two independent judicial commissions of inquiry in South Africa, namely the Nugent Commission in 2018 and the Zondo Commission, which concluded this year, chaired by Justice Robert Nugent and Chief Justice Raymond Zondo respectively .

The Zondo commission concluded in January that there was “collusion” between the consultancy and former South African president Jacob Zuma to overhaul entire sectors of the economy.

The committee found that between 2012 and 2015, Bain helped draw up plans to “seize and restructure” the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and centralize procurement processes – changes the report said would facilitate corruption.

Hain said in his letter: “Bain’s US-based global managing partner, Manny Maceda, downplays his firm’s Sars actions as ‘mistakes’. But this grossly underestimates the enormous social and economic damage Bain’s behavior has caused ordinary South Africans already suffering from crippling apartheid inequality and poverty, as well as industrial-scale looting and cronyism during the Zuma decade, in which Bain was complicit in”.

Bain said last month he was “disappointed and surprised” by the Cabinet decision. “Bain has apologized for the mistakes made by the South African office in working with the South African Revenue Service and we have returned all fees from the job, with interest, in 2018. Bain South Africa did not act illegally in Sars or elsewhere and no evidence has been suggested to the contrary,” he said.

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