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New global whistleblower hotline for Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has launched a 24-hour “ethics hotline” for employees to report concerns about bribery. The company also promised to claw back any bonuses awarded to managers who are found to be involved in corruption.

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations the jet-engine maker paid millions of dollars in bribes in Indonesia and China.

The whistleblower phone line will operate in 48 countries. Chief executive John Rishton said it will be a “confidential reporting line to make sure that we can hear about and address any matters of concern.”

In February, the SFO arrested Indian businessman Sudhir Choudhrie and his son Bhanu in connection with the investigation. Both were released without charges.

In early March, the Central Bureau of Investigations in India said it was investigating claims that Rolls-Royce paid bribes at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a state-owned company, to secure government contracts.

Rolls-Royce’s pending contracts in India were placed on hold pending the outcome of the investigation.

CEO Rishton said the company’s new bonus plan for executives would have clawback terms in the case of serious non-compliance with the new anti-bribery code.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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