Essays on Australia Corruption - BHPs Ethical Stand Case Study

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The paper "Australia Corruption - BHP’ s Ethical Stand" is a perfect example of a business case study.   Corruption is one of the plagues which keep on affecting and haunting the modern nation. Several agencies and corporations within the contemporary countries engage in practices which violate the Global Anti-corruption agreements. In several countries, various agencies and commissions exist which perform the watchdog role over corruption activities in the country. However, research proves that many agencies have failed to carry out their intended roles leading to a heightened corruption index in the global front. Australia remains as one of the countries which actively participate in the corporate world.

Various corporate and business entities in Australia engage in international activities. This has attracted the attention of the global anti-corruption agencies mandated to perform oversight and prosecutorial roles for companies implicated. One challenge which continues to face the Australian government is the unwillingness and lack of action of the country to investigate and prosecute major corruption scandals in the country. This paper intends to discuss the case of BHP as one of the renowned mining companies in the country and its ethical stand.

Also, this paper seeks to establish corruption cases in Australia and the manner in which the country handles most of these cases. This assessment focuses on determining whether the country has lost the war on corruption and the recommendation to make MNC more ethically responsible and active. BHP’ s Ethical stand BHP Billiton is one of the leading companies in Australia. The company engages mostly in metal mining activities and operates international networks. The major scandal which implicated the company regards the hospitality gesture for topmost managers and personnel in the government in the corporate world.

The company extended an invitation to 176 government officials including 98 topmost managers in the corporate scene to attend the 2008 Olympics. The initiation followed the ‘ Global Hospitality’ platform where a company could invite individuals; cater for their costs and hospitality requirements for attending the games. This gesture by the company attracted the local and global anti-corruption agencies. The main argument was that BHP Company followed irregular methods to make the invitation, to make the expenditure and also to target those who made a great impact in the company affairs (Vaughn 2012). The hospitality gesture to top government officials has been argued as a way of influencing their decisions and attitude.

Besides, the invitation and the means of expenditure failed to follow the anti-bribery and corruption laws which Australia subscribes to. The decision by the company to invite various officials who had the power of influence and directly involved with the company was deemed to be a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The global players came in to investigate and assess the occurrence in the process of invitation.

The gist of the matter was that a majority of those invited by the company were mainly government officials, suppliers and customers of the company. The process of making invitations totem never took into consideration the internal controls beneficial to prevent any corruption scandal. One challenge which cropped up in the invitation process regarded the insufficiency or lack thereof of the internal compliance function. The company had not yet established proper compliance functions to mitigate a possible corruption case. This led to the company settling the charges that went up to about $30 million.

The company never agreed nor denied the corruption allegations. However, it complied with the charges and played the whole amount as agreed by the courts (Groves 2014).


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Finch, N. (2012).Contemporary issues in mining: Leading practice in Australia. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan.

Groves, M. (2014).Modern administrative law in Australia: Concepts and context.

Sarre, R., Das, D. K., & Albrecht, H.-J. (2004). Policing corruption: International perspectives. Lanham [u.a.: Lexington Books.

Sawer, M., Abjorensen, N., & Larkin, P. (2009).Australia: The state of democracy. Annandale, N.S.W: Federation Press.

Vaughn, R. G. (2012). Successes and failures of whistleblower laws. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

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