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The News Line: News KBR FINED $402m IS TO BE POLICE PARTNER KELLOG, Brown and Root (KBR) is on the shortlist for the ‘Business Partnering for Police’ (BPP) project.

It is the company which pleaded guilty before an American court to engaging in a scheme between 1994 and 2004 to bribe Nigerian officials with significant financial payments in order to secure business.

The company was fined $402 million in 2009.

A letter-before-claim was sent on Thursday to the West Midlands Police threatening legal action over the approach of the authority to selecting its shortlist for the project.

The BPP project aims to contract out aspects of the police service to the private sector.

Under the relevant Procurement Regulations, West Midlands Police is required to exclude KBR from the procurement process as a company convicted of bribery offences, unless it considers that there are ‘overriding requirements in the general interest’.

What appears to have happened here is that, in response to a ‘Pre-Qualification Questionnaire’, KBR indicated that it had not been found guilty of bribery offences and West Midlands Police has blindly accepted that indication.

The letter-before-claim also raises concerns about G4S and Serco, and the extent to which West Midlands Police has actively considered concerns that the companies have been involved in acts of grave misconduct.

Public Interest Lawyers are instructed by Ms Robina Khan, a resident of Birmingham who is concerned about the type of companies to which vast amounts of taxpayers’ money may be directed as part of the BPP project.

Robina Khan, the Claimant, said yesterday: ‘There is already a fragile relationship between the police and the community.

‘Introducing private companies into policing activities will only weaken this trust further.

‘Looking at what companies like KBR and G4S are doing in other countries, it is only right that we question their human rights records, particularly when they stand to benefit from taxpayers’ money.

‘The procurement process is a shambles and consideration should have been given to the human rights records of these companies at the outset. Human rights should be upheld consistently.’
 
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