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Siemens bribed any government official in various countries, so as to get the lucrative tenders. The bribery by Siemens was practiced in countries known all over the world for corruption such as Nigeria and unfortunately even countries renowned for transparency such as Norway and Greece were caught in the scandal.
However, in February 1999, after significant pressure from countries such as the United States, Germany finally outlawed giving of bribes to foreign officials. However, instead of stopping the habit of giving bribes to the foreign officials, Siemens continued doing so discretely. Instead of abiding by the law, the firm came up with what was referred to as a “paper program.” This was an internal program that was supposed to punish the wrong doers or the people who participated in bribery. Unfortunately, the program did not punish the wrong doers. The company made millions through fraudulent deals to the expense of other firms. Soon after legalizing giving of bribery to foreign officials in the year 2000, authorities in Austria as well as Switzerland started becoming suspicious of some payments worth millions of dollars that Siemens was making to some offshore accounts. After lengthy investigations, some of the top managers at Siemens were arrested and some even prosecuted.
Bribery and other related corrupt practices are unethical and unacceptable in any business circle. This is because it undermines the ethical corporate culture. To a larger extent bribery is known for mutilating fundamental corporate values of honesty and integrity. The Siemens scandal in our case which involved key employee bribing top officials of the business in foreign countries in order to win contracts was a serious unethical practice. In always vital for all companies to compete for tenders and contracts on fair ground, but unfortunately bribes are often used to distort the market place in order to favor a particular company over others. For instances, top
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