US firm paid $976,000 bribe to win Indian water project

Highlights:

  • A New Jersey-based construction management firm has been charged with bribing Indian officials several crores of rupees to win two major water developmental projects in Goa and in Guwahati.
  • The bribery of $976,630 for a Goa project by Louis Berger included that to a minister, the details of which have not been disclosed by the Department of Justice.
  • The company agreed to pay $17.1 million criminal fine to resolve charges that it bribed officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts.
  • Two of its former executives, Richard Hirsch of Philippines and James McClung  of the UAE  have pleaded guilty to the bribery charges.
  • McClung previously served as senior vice president responsible for the firm's operations in India and in Vietnam.
  • Sentencing hearings for Hirsch and McClung are scheduled for November 5, 2015.
  • The Indian government, assisted by Japanese government, initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities.
  • Louis Berger was part of a consortium for the project in Goa.
  • The consortium included two Japanese firms and an Indian partner.
  • The team developed a project management information system and plan, evaluated bids, reviewed design and construction plans, and ensured quality work was done on time and within budget, the company says on its website.