SFO obtains UK£ 4,9 million civil recovery order against Amec

By Becca Wilkins28 October 2009

Amec engineering consultancy is to pay almost UK£ 5 million (€ 5,5 million) under a civil recovery order obtained by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for taking "irregular receipts" worth UK£ 5,5 million (€ 6 million) associated with a project in which Amec is a shareholder.

The order relates to the company's last remaining public private partnership (PPP) project - the UK£ 614 million (€ 678 million) Incheon Bridge in Korea.

In a statement the SFO said Amec, which has it's global headquarters in the UK, made a referral to the anti fraud unit in March 2008 following an internal investigation into the receipt of irregular payments which were made between November 2005 and March 2007.

It added, "The Director has determined that unlawful conduct occurred in connection with the description entered into Amec's books and records of the payments in question."

The SFO said it acknowledged that upon completion of the internal investigation Amec acted promptly and responsibly in referring the case and has since co-operated with the SFO's investigation into the corporate irregularities.

A statement from Amec said, "No improper overall commercial advantage accrued to Amec in connection with the receipts and no adjustment is required to any Amec financial statements."

The company is now improving its ethics, compliance and accounting standards and as part of the settlement Amec has agreed to appoint an independent consultant to review these improvements and report on their findings to the SFO.

The SFO said it is satisfied that through agreeing to these actions Amec has demonstrated its desire to address the issues that gave rise to the unlawful conduct.

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