In a bid to uproot corruption, Siemens spends half a billion euros
After the biggest bribery scandal in German corporate history, Siemen is now paying a high price to clear its name.
Munich -- German engineering giant Siemens said on Wednesday that efforts to root out corruption cost the company 510 million euros (637 billion dollars) in their business year.
The company said the bulk of the money went to external consultants as well as to improvements on internal control and compliance mechanisms.
Costs amounted to 87 million euros in the final quarter of the business year that ended in September, compared to 119 million euros spent during April-June and 175 million euros in the quarter before, said Siemens.
Last week, the company said it had set aside 1 billion dollars to settle US and German charges that Siemens bribed people in a dozen countries in order to win contracts.
The company is alleged to have made 1.3 billion euros in unauthorized payments between 2000 and 2006 in what has now become the biggest bribery scandal in German corporate history.
Analysts estimate the total bill for Siemens might be 2.5 billion euros, including penalties, fines, consultancy fees and the skimming off of excessive profits.
Former chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld left after the scandal broke and was replaced in 2007 by Peter Loescher, who vowed to clear the company's affairs of any corruption.